And what if they knew about the living tunnels ?


Photo credit: Randburg Sun

Momentum Corporate Social Investment manager, Emmanuel Mahlangu, resident Mbuyiswa Mbongonya, Alpheus Mashile and Impophomo director, John-Mark Kilian harvest vegetables

Garden tunnels to protect organic vegetables in Zandspruit



by Phathu Luvhengo

Alpheus Mashile’s vision to help families in Zandspruit Informal Settlement start their own gardens and grow vegetables is gradually flourishing.
This small-scale farmer believes that a fight against hunger could be won if each family heeded the call to start their own vegetable garden.
Mashile is the member of Impophomo – a non-profit organisation which focuses on the socio-economic development of various impoverished communities.
Through this NPO, this farmer is able to supply vegetables at Realogile Pre-school and has started a soup kitchen from which about 100 elders and children receive a meal every weekday.
“Since I started this project, I’ve realised that most of our people don’t really understand agriculture and through workshops they can learn to plant their own vegetables,” he said.
He said his goal was to teach young people in the settlement to learn about farming. “We plant organic vegetables here. It is when many people are educated about this project that the whole community will continue to benefit,” he said.
Impophomo director, John-Mark Killian said they have partnered with Momentum Corporate Social Investment which donated the garden tunnels on 11 November. These tunnels would be used to protect organic vegetables.
He said an affordable infrastructure would attract more residents to start their own businesses. “About 30 per cent of households in Johannesburg struggle to access food. When you start your own garden you suddenly start to save money,” he said.
“This tunnel infrastructure is affordable and sustainable, and can also help residents generate their own income from selling vegetables,” he said.
Momentum Corporate Social Investment manager, Emmanuel Mahlangu said they were always dedicated to helping impoverished communities. “This is our efforts to help empower and build sustainable communities,” he said.
He said they sponsored the garden tunnels through the Impophomo NPO as they needed to invest in the wellness of the community.
Read the full article: Randburg Sun
COMMENT OF WILLEM VAN COTTHEM (University of Ghent, Belgium)
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Author: Willem Van Cotthem

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

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