»The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now!« – African saying –
Besides its existing work with orphans and pupils at its day care centre (kita) in Lwala, the association Nyota e.V. likes to impose a new working field. On additional farm land we like to grow indigenous fruits, vegetables and corn to cover the full daily need of Nyota‘s kita. Hopefully, other local families and children in need will be supplied with food through the garden project in the near future as well. We aim at panting various kinds of herbs, vegetables and fruit trees. In order to feature the relationship and communication between the Kenyan-German Nyota-team and the local villagers, we also like to involve local farmers and other people from the village of Lwala in the project. We are still looking for donors to guarantee the financing of this new Green Garden Project and every dollar or euro will help.
The need and advantages of self-sufficiency
Besides other problems, people in Kenya suffer because of increasing food prices at the local markets and a high inflation rate. Especially basic foods like maize meal and rice have been doubled in price. Under such circumstances, the importance and advantages of self-sufficiency increases strongly. In 2009 Nyota was able to buy a small but additional 0.5 acre of farmland to grow maize for the self-sufficiency of the day care centre. The first harvest was a full success. Almost 750 kg maize was harvested, which covers the kita’s full need of one year. In our small garden at the kita we also grow tomatoes, papaya and mango trees. In addition, banana and avocado trees are growing nearby. In case we are able to realize the Green Garden Project, the complete need for food of the kita can hopefully be covered completely within 2-3 years time.
The current situation in Kenya
Although Kenya belongs to one of the political most stable and economical most powerful countries in East Africa more than 10 million people still suffer from daily hunger. Every day people starve because they lack food and clean water. According to the Red Cross Kenya 630,000 Kenyan citizens face critical health conditions. People in Kenya suffer from drying periods every year. The Nyota Day Care Centre, which is run by a Kenyan-German team, is located in Lwala in Western Kenya close to the border of Tanzania. Although Lwala is located in an equatorial zone that experiences heavy rain seasons, people of the region are affected by drying periods every year. Extreme climate conditions, heavy rainfalls as well as food shortage during drying periods are part of daily life for the people of this region.
A self drilled well will guarantee the water supply at the Nyota Green Garden Project. A small piece of the field is planned to be available for our caretakers and the children as a “training ground” to learn and have experiences with farming and the nature in general.