Update on my visit to Soshanguve in November last year.
I was introduced to this project by the lovely Lee-Anne who I met after I asked for people on social media to let me know if they knew of any deserving children that would benefit from receiving a christmas gift.
Lee-Anne has been involved with Ikaya Lami for a long time supporting them with donations, arranging for long drops to be dug and housed........the list is endless. This week, through a plant forum on face book she received 1200 plants, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Kale, Rape and Mustard which she and a team of volunteers helped to plant, May 2016. I'm hoping to get back to South Africa in July this year for a week and look forward to visiting this project and many others like it.
Access to water in many townships is not available with adults and children walking up to 4kms each way to get water for drinking and washing, so having a garden in a township for many is a luxury, although it does rain regularly during summer, but South Africa has been having a drought over recent months with the rains arriving late and water is being rationed.
Many people in the townships try to be self sufficient and grow their own fruit and vegetables and they are able to do is if they have a bore hole, they are usually community projects who run after school care, take in orphans, run the local church and support the locals.
The cost of a bore hole starts from around R25,000/£1,100/AED 6,450 depending on the ground being dug and the depth required to get fresh water and the casing needed. These costs are met with donations from individuals and sponsors, but they are few and far between and many communities who try to be self sufficient have to give up early on in the project so many just don't invest the money in seeds or the time for projects they know will fail due to lack of water.
However some are successful like this community project in Soshanguve, North of Pretoria.
They have built an irrigation system and are successfully growing fruit trees and a variety of vegetables to supplement a very meagre income with 18 children from age birth to 18 to feed, plus the adults who live there and run the project.
I've spotted a variety of fruits and vegetables growing but wasn't able to put a name to everything, I think a lot of the gardening here is 'plant it and see'
One of the projects in desperate need of a bore hole is in Mpumalanga
. Access to water would make a huge difference to the communities lives.