Progress for a Study Circle in Gwanda South
11 October, 2017 322 villagers converged at the nutrition garden of a study circle sponsored by Edward Ndlovu Memorial Trust at Tshanyaugwe. On this happy occasion a water pump driven by solar cells was being handed over to the 21 ladies of the community who collectively operate a vegetable garden. The equipment and installation are the $8,000 gift of Kersti Palmberg and her husband, supporters from Sweden, who participated at the function.
Members of Tshanyaugwe study circle celebrating the pumped water
The ladies, several of whom are elderly, have been using a hand pump installed in the borehole. Even pumping by hand, they have been producing more than enough vegetables for their own family needs. But now they will not need to pump by hand, and all their efforts can go to tending the vegetables. With the borehole 25 metres deep and the pump reaching a depth of 24m, and the water level at 12m, 3,800 litres per hour can be pumped into the holding tank and the old ladies can work on an acre profitably, with adequate water. The kraal head has already given permission for them to extend their garden and a tractor was hired to till the virgin land so that the ladies could start working on an acre of prepared land.
Solar cells which provide energy for the borehole pump
There is huge potential that these ladies could supply the whole community with fresh vegetables and, in the process, generate income. The Trust’s field officer is encouraging the ladies to move one step up and engage in some form of enterprise. In the new year, a marketing strategy will be developed, wherein the ladies do market gardening and supply a local boarding school (Manama High) as well as day schools which have feeding programmes (Buvuma High and Selonga High) and one vegetable market in the town of Gwanda. Agritex, the government department which assists farmers, has also promised to work with the ladies. This project should help the members of the study group to raise their own income as well as provide healthy food for the surrounding communities.
This certainly beats hand pumping!
The ladies continue to make use of materials placed for their use in the book box library provided by Edward Ndlovu Memorial Trust at Tshanyaugwe primary school.