New Era Newspaper

New Era Epaper
Icon Collap
Home / Community garden increases social cohesion

Community garden increases social cohesion

2023-01-31  Loide Jason

Community garden increases social cohesion

A flourishing community garden in the bustling neighbourhood of Goreangab informal settlement has been hailed as an answer to many of the socio-economic challenges in the area, such as food security and unemployment.

 Constituency councillor for Samora Machel, Nestor Kalola, says the garden has progressed to feed vulnerable community members who cannot afford  to buy fruits and vegetables. 

Goreangab residents received a piece of land from the City of Windhoek in 2016 to establish a community garden behind Olof Palme Primary School. Today, the garden produces carrots, cabbages, spinach, cauliflower, tomatoes, onions, garlic, mangoes, grapes, peach, pawpaw, sugarcane, guavas, lemons, bananas and beetroot, among others. 

According to Kalola, the idea came to light after residents pleaded with city officials to consider providing land to the community. He said he made the request to officials because as a community leader, he could not turn a blind eye to people living in poverty. Kalola added that besides allocating land, the city also provided seeds, equipment, security services as well as water and electricity.

The thriving community garden now employs 12 permanent workers and two casuals. There are over 30 fruit trees and a wide range of vegetables. Kalola stated that general unity has significantly increased in the area as the community is willing to work to feed themselves and their children. 

“The garden has also kept a lot of people who are unemployed busy instead of staying home sleeping,” said the councillor. 

Workers who spoke to New Era at the garden narrated how gardening has been feeding many people. However, they emphasised that the gardening project continues to be faced with numerous challenges.

Concurring with the workers, Kalola said the garden has been feeding many vulnerable members of the community and as such, was finding it difficult to keep up with sales and to make a profit they can reinvest to purchase seeds. 

“This area has a lot of people that are suffering and we then assist them with fruits and vegetables when we harvest because we cannot sell to make profit while people are suffering,” Kalola explained.

In addition, he expounded that in the past, income generated was used to buy seeds when necessary while any leftover revenue was deposited in the garden’s bank account for future use. However, as of late, the profits have been dwindling as the number of vulnerable beneficiaries increased due to escalating poverty levels.

The politician further pointed out the development has been of great assistance to the community as it also greatly assists people dealing with health issues who are normally referred to the garden by the social workers from the community development department.

“Although progress has been made thus far, a lot has to be done to address a number of challenges that hamper the project operations like shortage of water supply, burglaries and insects attacking the plants.” Ultimately, Kalola hinted to future plans of setting up a poultry farm to obtain manure which is an excellent fertiliser for crop production. He, therefore, called for any stakeholders to assist in safeguarding the premises with either precast or a boundary wall to discourage criminals. 


2023-01-31  Loide Jason

Share on social media