Gardening for Survival: How Lack of Borehole Is Hampering the Labor of Women Gardeners in Wuli Barrow Kunda
Over 400 women gardeners in Wuli Barrow Kunda have had their gains highly decreased in recent harvests due to the lack of a borehole to water their vegetable beds. The gardeners are being forced to struggle to draw water from wells to wet their vegetables.
The garden is also hard-hit by the non-existence of protective perimeter fences to avoid stray animals from rampaging on the exposed land.
“We have a huge problem with regards to the availability of water. It tops all other problems we have in this garden,” Isatou Sanneh, the PRO of Barrow Kunda Yiriwaa Kafoo told The Chronicle.
The garden has only one functioning well as the second one is abandoned by many as it is partially caved in.
“We also lack perimeter fences to protect our gardens from stray animals. There are four hundred gardeners here, exclusively women. We could not work effectively and it has affected our gains a lot,” she said.
According to her, the garden has been in existence for over three decades. “It was cultivated by our mothers until our generation came along. We need a borehole. We need a strong wire also for perimeter fence,” she emphasized while strongly requesting for the support from the government, NGOs and philanthropists.
The advisor to the Kafoo, Dandang York calls on the government to help in levelling the garden. She said they usually abandon the garden during the rainy season as it becomes a waterway anytime it rains.
“The garden is situated on sloped land and this is why we are not able to do the garden work during the rainy season,” she said.
But the most pressing needs for her are the lack of borehole and the protective perimeter fence.
“I appeal to the concerned authorities to help us. This garden makes our survival so easy. It makes sure pregnant women do not lack blood and the vegetable diets help breastfeeding mothers with enough milk. Even us aging mothers, we are able to eat satisfactorily through this garden. We do not suffer.”
Unlike many areas, women in Barrow Kunda rarely visit the market for their daily shopping [nduga]. “We don’t go to the market to buy vegetables because everything is produced here.”
Hawanding Fatty: “We do not have fertilizer to boost our produce and we need insecticide because our crops are affected and they easily die.”
The VDC Chair, Hamadi Jallow acknowledges the importance of the garden in the community, describing women as hardworking people in the community. He appealed on their behalf, for a borehole, perimeter fence, seeds and fertilizer to help in increasing the yield.
Kebba Jeffang is in Wuli