WHD 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Kitchen gardens: one step towards resilience in the Sahel?


In the East Batha region, in Chad, located at the heart of the Sahel and badly affected by food insecurity, ACTED is mobilised to help the most vulnerable populations. In order to give long-term solutions to food security problems, ACTED is supporting 35 villages in the set up of kitchen gardens. In each village, several vulnerable households have come together to create a cooperative.
Seed and tools have been distributed and are necessary to start a kitchen garden, access to water has been guaranteed and trainings have been conducted, with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID/OFDA).

Reaping the fruits

Habsita lives in the village of Tchakani, where one of the kitchen gardens was developed. She is 39 years old, married and has eight children. She often finds it difficult to feed eight mouths. In 2012, Habsita had to borrow money during the lean period, when stocks were depleted and prices on the markets are high, in order to feed her family. She then had to use all the earnings from the cereal harvest to repay her debt.
Habsita is now part of a group of 25 people that are harvesting a plot of land of one hectare on the edge of the river Batha. The group is working hard, under the scorching sun, to grow carrots, lettuce and other vegetables that will help them cover their needs during the lean period.
ACTED supports 35 villages with the implementation of kitchen gardens
and the support to gardeners groups. © ACTED.
Habsita is very eager to continue working on the kitchen garden: “The kitchen garden changed my life and can already see the result of my efforts. I am proud to learn and to be able to produce rather than depend on others.” With her child on her back, Habsita is tirelessly working in the field. “work in the field is hard, and not many people can do it. I am hoping that we can continue to work as a cooperative.”
In a region where agriculture is showing very meager outputs because of severe shocks, the development of kitchen gardens is one step ahead towards resilience. By varying their food sources, households are improving their food security and nutrition situation. Step by step, communities are reinforcing their livelihoods: “At the end of this year’s work, I will be able to go through the rainy season without having to borrow money because the harvest will be good,” concludes Habsita.

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