Leslie lives in the small village of Sibhula in the Gwanda district of Zimbabwe. Gwanda is the driest district, with very little rainfall. Most of Leslie’s community rely on farming to earn an income and to feed their families but the lack of rainfall has had a devastating impact.
Members of the community manage a community garden which is big enough to provide food for everyone and to sell produce at market. Yet, the severe lack of water means they have often watched their crops fail, year after year.
The community used to have to collect water from the nearby river to irrigate the land. The men travelled to the river every day to collect heavy buckets of water and carried them back to the village. It was a tough journey but they had no other choice.
Practical Action has been able to work with Leslie and his community to help improve access to water. They soon had a solar-powered water pump which brings water from the river and into a storage tank, which feeds the drip irrigation system that now waters their crops.
The community can grow more crops and no longer have the drudgery of carrying heavy jerry cans back to the garden. It’s a simple solution that is transforming lives.
“We are now sitting in the garden of heaven. We grow okra, sugar beans, tomatoes and spinach.”
Access to energy and water has the power to change lives forever. Leslie and his village no longer have to watch their crops fail; they now have enough food to eat and to sell to earn an income.