This project will increase long-term resilience to climate change, social crisis, and political crisis, for communities in East Africa who are most vulnerable to upheaval. We do this by investing in indigenous East African leadership to deliver training and resources: installation of simple, appropriate drought-resistant technology such as water storage, shade nets, and ecological small garden design; and connection of people to good seed, including local seed sources in their region.
Drought is no longer an occasional event in the Horn of Africa, but rather an ongoing, recurring condition brought on by climate change. Rainy seasons are less dependable, and when rain does come it is more severe and damaging. Intensive agriculture depletes fragile soil. The result is that people are competing for ever-scarcer resources like water and good land, and many must flee home to escape violence and find food. Crossroads and border communities like Moyale and Soyama suffer most.
Gardens give homes much-needed food and income as well as a safe haven and means of livelihood for people who have been displaced from home. We work with women's groups who already pool resources to ensure maximum gain from investment in good seeds, water sourcing, training, and shared supplies - one water storage system can extend the growing season for 50 families. Vegetable sales help the whole community, and the program develops local leaders and puts economic power into women's hands.
Climate change is a daily reality in the Horn of Africa; nobody views the current crisis as an isolated event. In villages and cities alike there is a clarion call for new strategies to build community resilience, reduce dependence on aid, and develop lasting, locally-run strong social and economic ties. Vegetable gardens persist as a source of life-affirming income and nutrition that adapts to change and helps ensure women's safety and economic power.