Beatrice with Cherry Tomato Harvest
This "Chilimo" or Zambian Dry Season in Simango, was different than others. In several community locations, the normally dry, parched ground was unseasonably green thanks to the community's efforts in tending the drip-irrigated gardens that were established this year to generate revenue for various community and household water improvements.
When I return to Zambia in February, I will be distributing 5-10 treadle pumps to members of these gardens who worked the required hours to finance them over 2 years. Besides the obvious benefit to these individuals, these treadle pumps will serve as a billboard to others in the community who didn't believe or didn't catch the vision that their work will be rewarded.
Miyanda, a recent BS graduate of the University of Zambia Soil Science department, has been living in Simango as a project manager. His latest update is telling:
“People were glad when I told them of your coming in February and that you wanted the working times so you could prepare treadle pumps for those who qualify. Although everyone has already started planting in their fields, a good number of them, especially in Sibunimba Village, have continued to come to work in the gardens to add up more to their hours. They would usually attend to their fields in the morning and come to the garden in the afternoon. We are now planting new crops and people have been more cooperative than I expected. As days go by they see the improvements the project has brought to their community and appreciate it more. At least they could afford to buy some relish from nearby and can still realize some more benefits even into the future.”
I hope that they truly do realize these benefits into the future.
The 6th World Water Forum recently highlighted this project in their monthly newsletter - see link below!
I have recently been asked to travel to the UK in January to speak to the community connected with Ben Gurion University there about the project.
And in April, I will be presenting research results from the field at the Unite for Sight Global Health and Innovation Conference at Yale University as a Student Leader in Global Health.
David Prepares Hoes for the Sibunimba Garden
25 BioSand Filters Constructed On Site
The Irrigation Experiment