For Residents of Kibera, Good Food is in the Bag
More than 60 percent of the population of Nairobi, Kenya lives in the numerous slums located around the city. Kibera slum is one of the 146 slums of the Kenyan capital and the second biggest slum in Africa after Soweto in South Africa.
A French humanitarian relief NGO called Solidarités is supporting the communities in Nairobi’s slums, including in Kibera, with an innovative “garden in a sack” project.
Each sack has a volume of 0.1 to 0.5 m3. The most appropriate crops for the bags are leafy vegetables since they keep on growing even after the leaves have been harvested. Vegetables are planted at the top of the sack and through small holes on the sides. On average, one single sack contains 30 to 40 seedlings of kale or spinach and 20 tomato plants. These are crops that the communities were already familiar with; but other vegetables, such as peppers, green onions, and coriander have been introduced.
Vegetables from the sacks are used for consumption or are sold, thereby increasing a household’s access to cash for other needs and for education of the children. Families that are producing vegetables are able to prepare a full meal two to three times a week. On average, each household also increases its weekly income by $5. Given that house rental in Kibera costs around $6/month, this additional cash represents an important source of income. Households with access to three or more sacks have an estimated revenue of around $33/month, which is more than the average monthly income per family.
KGI is a nonprofit community of over 30,000 people who are growing some of our own food and helping others to do the same.
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