The head of the United Nations food agency warned that, as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries in Africa are also "on the brink of a hunger pandemic" that could lead to multiple famines if immediate action isn't taken.
In many rural settlements in Southern Africa, women are the frontline workers. As the coronavirus upsets the familiar community routines, unemployment, business failures, school closures, and social isolation have become the new reality. With little income and sparse government assistance, women are faced with providing food for their families by resorting to growing their own food.
Providing women in these informal settlements with a Survival Garden Kit that includes the tools and seedlings to start small homestead vegetable gardens, is the most immediate and productive action we can take to help them create food security and self-sufficiency during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Encouraging women to establish survival gardens has short and long-term benefits:
• While the coronavirus is an immediate threat, its impact will be felt for years.
• Small homestead farming is doable and relatively easy (when water is readily available).
• While the need is immediate, a survival garden also creates food security for the future.
• Growing one's own food is not just self-sustaining; it's rewarding and empowering.
• A mother's drive to provide for her family is her core passion. What she needs is the 'how'.
• Simple tools and an easy way to transport water makes the Survival Garden Kit a viable option.