In Northern Kenya and Southern Ethiopia, people crowd towns and cities to escape drought. Now food is short and prices are high. Smart gardens can capture and use water efficiently to quickly grow nutritious vegetables. Reach 500+ families with good vegetable seeds and resources like water tanks, drip irrigation, and skills training. Most gardeners are organized in women’s saving groups whose focus is to make their communities ever more resilient as the climate grows ever more uncertain.
Due to persistent drought, areas served by our partners in Kenya and Ethiopia are suffering crisis-level food shortage. Rivers are dried up, livestock are dying, and people crowd towns to find needed supplies. Farming large plots becomes impossible as water grows more scarce. Women have unequal access to resources already; a regional crisis can further harm women’s safety from violence and their capacity to support and feed their families.
Small gardens can give much-needed food and income. By working with women’s groups who already pool resources and cooperate, we ensure maximum gain from investment in good seeds, water harvesting, irrigation supplies, compost baskets, and training. Used with care, one water storage system can extend the growing season for 50 families. Vegetable sales help the whole community and generate cash. At the same time, 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.
- Seed Programs International
- Report on the Effect of Climate Change on Ethiopia