Africa can be a frustrating place for many people who live there. One of their frustrations is water. There is either too much or too little. They plan for both scenarios but for vegetable growing water needs to be there always in exactly the right amount.
One of Mama Yunia Yango’s groups of vegetable growing women in Imvepi refugee camp had to locate their plot far away from the camp so as to be near a stream and borehole. This means that they will have access to sufficient water but being so far from their homes will be a major challenge to them.
Today I am visiting the refugees in Majale area these South Sudanese refugee women who, instead of living in a formal camp live amongst the local hosting community, are luckier. Their plot for their nursery seedlings and planting beds is next to a stream in a riverine area, and their leader, Stella Araba, lives close by. Many of the other members of the group live near also. The above picture shows Stella using a CRESS funded watering can to proudly water her vegetable seeds.
Another group, lead by Yanga Cecilia, also lives within the host Ugandan community. They have been given a small plot close to a stream for their seedling nursery. However, each group member will prepare their own planting beds near to their homes. This is because they have access to a borehole which supplies them with sufficient water not only for their household needs but for their vegetable production as well.
One of the strengths of our CRESS vegetable project is its flexibility. Each group is able to work out and develop their own way forward with the opportunities and challenges they face.
Mijale is a special place with a very different atmosphere as compared to a restrictive camp area. Here the refugees live amongst a local community who have been prepared to share with them what little they have. That is why CRESS is so pleased to share its projects such as the clinic and vegetable growing with them. Stella said she was surprised and happy when local people saw what the agricultural group were trying to do in preparing their beds. Joining them with their own hoes to help and learn. Africans are so good at sharing anything – this means even more people will benefit from the teaching even though they are not directly in the selected group.