Written by Margaret McKenzie
Through it’s CIDA supported Demonstration Fund, Sustainable Cities in association with the Imagine Durban project is sponsoring a Schools and Food Security project in Durban, South Africa. The intention of the project is to facilitate the establishment of food gardens at Cato Crest Primary School and Glenridge Pre-School and to use the experiences at these two schools to promote replication by other schools.
Cato Crest Primary is part of the South African School Nutrition Programme that provides a meal a day to the learners at the school. Cato Crest is part of the nutrition programme because many of its learners come from households too poor to provide sufficient food to their families. The vegetables produced in the garden will be used by the school in the provision of the daily meal to learners.
A secondary aim of the project is to form a partnership between Cato Crest Primary School and Glenridge Pre-Primary School. Glenridge Pre-Primary School is a better resourced school and linkages and partnerships between the schools will enable the sustainability of the two food gardens, social cohesion and sharing of resources and lessons learnt.
The project is now well underway at Cato Crest School where a rain water harvesting tank has been installed and seven on-site training sessions have been held. The first on-site training session at Glenridge has taken place and further training sessions will take place with the older learners from Cato Crest School mentoring the pre-schoolers at Glenridge.
The project has also developed a draft guide book to permaculture based schools food garden. This booklet will be published later in the year.
Some of the challenges that the project will have to overcome in the next few months are the hard, infertile ground at Cato Crest school, the empty rainwater harvesting tanks due to the poor pre-winter rains in Durban and planning training sessions around the World Cup 2010 that is taking place in South Africa over June and July.