Kisumu, Kenya: Drip Irrigation Food Garden
Our goal is a healthy life for every individual; sustainable agriculture and food security programs are key elements to reaching that goal.
Achieving food security in Sub Saharan Africa continues to be a challenge:
- Malnutrition affects a third of all people in Sub-Saharan Africa – more than in any other region in the world
- Over 70% of the food insecure population in Africa lives in rural, drought stricken areas.
- 95% of agriculture is rain fed, making land barren in the dry season
All of our projects are focused on providing alternative solutions to these challenges with income generating projects. As a result, our partner communities are able to create and implement their own Agricultural Development Action Plans to better prepare for and anticipate shocks such as famine, floods or drought. Mama Hope enacts three types of agricultural and food security projects: drip irrigation gardens, demonstration/training gardens, and sustainable farms.
Rita Rose Food Garden
In 2009 Mama Hope partnered with Our Lady of Perpetual Support for People Living with HIV/AIDS (OLPS) in Kisumu, Kenya to create a 3-acre drip irrigated vegetable garden. The garden opened in May of 2009 and is currently run and maintained by 200+ women widowed by AIDS and/or caring for HIV/AIDS orphans. These women have been trained in drip irrigation installation and best practice farming methods by local partners OLPS and Green Zone Agencies. This drip irrigation garden provides nutrition to the caregivers and their families, bringing food security to a total of 1200 beneficiaries.
In 2010 this community expanded their garden from 3 to 5 acres to plant and harvest maize, tomatoes, millet, cabbage, kale, and sorghum. They have an additional 3 acre plot, purchased in 2012, just one mile away from the original garden that is not yet planted. Ultimately, the garden’s surplus will be used to support the children who will be living in the future Kisumu Rescue Center that Mama Hope began funding 2011.
Last year, the weather patterns were unusually bad. When it rained, it poured over the baked soil like a typhoon and when it was dry, zero water reached the crops. In response to this all-too-common problem with rain-fed agriculture in Kenya, Mama Hope dug a borehole in 2012 to provide a steady supply of water. This water project has been an amazing success. The next step in this comprehensive approach is to re-install and expand the drip irrigation system with special adjustments for each crop type. The community has also envisioned a multi-day seminar to train the youth from the nearby Nyamonge Primary School.