The old man and the bottle tower gardens (Ulrich HASSAN / Willem Van Cotthem)


Today, Ulrich HASSAN posted the following comment at YOU TUBE, concerning my video on Bottle Tower Gardens ( :

“What I like on white people is the way you share important information to the whole world. This shows your passion! I appreciated and I have to help Rwandan people to implement this in our country. Thank you YouTube and thank you, this adorable old man, Willem Van Cotthem.”

Here is my reply : The color of our skin should never be a significant factor in our relationships. Looking for any profit when working at development cooperation should be severely condemned. Booking success with development initiatives should be a reward in itself. I hope my BOTTLE TOWER GARDENS will become a simple step for many Rwandan families towards a bit of food security and a daily portion of fresh food with vitamins and minerals, in particular for the children.

I couldn’t resist thinking at Hemingway’s “THE OLD MAN AND THE BOTTLE TOWER” or was it “THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA”? At my age, you know !


Spring 2013 in Belgium.  My wish to Ulrich HASSAN : May Rwanda too be a flowering country with happy families and healthy children (Photo WVC).


Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.