The Mukakatanwa garden is a community garden situated 60km from Karoi town in Northern Zimbabwe. The garden was established in 2005 by the community members themselves. There are 30 locals in total contributing to the project, most of them women. A nearby dam approximately 1 kilometre from the garden provides water for irrigation. In 2015, members of Mukakatanwa Garden participated in an innovative project implemented by GOAL with funding from Bank of Ireland. The aim of this project was to improve the water sources and sanitation facilities for the local community gardens, alongside improving the variety of vegetable, crops and nutrition sources on offer to the community and their families.
"I am very grateful to GOAL and Bank of Ireland and for this support"
During an interview with GOAL staff, the chairperson of the community garden, Mrs Lydia Sifelani, excitedly explained how the members of the garden benefited from the project. ‘’ We received a lot of things from GOAL which included garden seed packs, construction materials for water tank and toilet and hygiene education”. He went on to say that “through GOAL’s support, all garden members are now enjoying a diverse range of vegetables being grown in the garden. Before that we would only grow mostly leafy vegetables to sell to those community members who do not have gardens not knowing that we should also grow a variety of vegetables to improve the nutrition of our families. This has also allowed us to practice crop rotation which has resulted in a significant reduction in pest problems in the garden. I am very grateful to GOAL and Bank of Ireland and for this support”. The seed pack that was distributed to garden members included sugarcane, rapeseed, carrots, onions, butternut squash, beans and tomatoes.
Another community member, Mrs Gaudencia Charuma, added; “the project enhanced our relationship with our local environmental health technician. He now visits us more often than before to provide us with hygiene education which is quite helpful to us as garden members. Some of the things that we learn we have begun practicing at home and our children are benefiting as well.”
The group all received construction materials to construct a toilet. Mrs Charuma was glad to announce that “...everyone is now free to relieve themselves at any time of the day using the toilet. No more open defecation which pollutes our land and water”.