If only every Kenyan school had a school garden ? (Willem)

Did you read the former posting on this blog : Kenya: Drought Forcing Children to Quit School ?

I did it very attentively and one important question came up : “What if every Kenyan school had a school garden ?”. The children, under the able guidance of their teachers, would have a magnificent possibility to produce their own daily fresh food for the school cantine. They would learn essential horticultural techniques, which they can apply when growing into adults and thus contribute to sustainable development of their country.

Impossible because of drought, you say ?  Now then, how comes that people in the refugee camps in the Sahara desert are nowadays constructing kitchen gardens in a far more hostile environment, for which they use only a minimal quantity of slightly saline water to produce all kinds of vegetables and fruits ?

The solution ?  Application of  a modern soil conditioning method to keep the desert sand sufficiently moistened over a longer period, thereby preventing fertilizers to be leached, and receiving seeds through our action “Seeds for Food” (see http://seedsforfood.wordpress.com).

2008-02 Plenty of vitamin rich vegetables in a family garden in the Sahara desert (Tindouf area, Algeria), a fantastic tool to avoid malnutrition in the drylands
2008-02 Plenty of vitamin rich vegetables in a family garden in the Sahara desert (Tindouf area, Algeria), a fantastic tool to avoid malnutrition in the drylands

If refugee kids in the Sahara desert are not hungry anymore because eating vegetables and fruits all year long, why would Kenyan kids have to quit school because of drought ?  Learning lessons from successes is  thing of beauty, thus, a joy for ever !

Author: Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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