As our first project of the year, we hope to continue our investments in sustainable agriculture by funding the building of 20 vertical gardens - an approach to crop planting that utilises punctured structures and multiple soil foundations to plant crops vertically. The purpose of this is to increase the growing efficiency of crops and food security for low-income families in the Wamunyu community in Kenya. This will require us to use £1,400 of our cash holdings. The gardens will be built over a 4 - 6 week period - directly touching the lives of over 150 people.
Wamunyu is located in the semi-arid Mwala sub-county of Kenya, and it has sporadic rain and limited water sources. As a result of climate change, the rains have not been as regular, and the community faces drought conditions annually. Many farmers are also growing one crop at a time, which leads to food insecurity, especially if the rains do not come.
Vertical gardens are an efficient way to grow crops, especially for people with limited land and sources of water. With funding, our local partner, Kenya Connect, will pilot 20 Vertical Gardens in the community at the following places:
6 Vertical Gardens at the Wamunyu Special School, a residential school for children with cognitive disabilities. Often struggling to afford nutritious meals for the students, the Verticle Gardens will provide vegetables for the children and staff. This project also lends itself to be a vocational training project for the students.
4 Vertical Gardens at Kenya Connect Centre to serve as a demonstration site for the community. Farmers, community leaders and Machakos County agriculture officials will be invited to learn about Vertical Gardens.
10 Vertical Gardens provided to 5 low-income parents, single parents, and those with particular hardships.
This project will provide sustained access to food for five families in hardship (approx. 25 people), the students, teachers and staff at the Wamunyu Special School (100 people) and the staff and visitors of Kenya Connect (25). Kenya Connect will also hold training on the use of Vertical Gardens for the local community at large.
If the pilot is successful, we will seek to increase the supply of gardens, hiring locals to create the netting and funding the development of the design and distribution.