POVERTY-ZIMBABWE: Gardening Lifeline for Urban Women

Ignatius Banda – IPS-Inter Press Service – Tuesday 2 Dec, 2008

Anthony Kaminju/IRIN

Given access to no more than water & a piece of land, a group of women is growing abundant vegetables in a Bulawayo neighbourhood. Image: Anthony Kaminju/IRIN

BULAWAYO, Dec 2 (IPS) – Growing and selling vegetables has become a lifeline for 41-year-old Mavis Dube at a time when millions of Zimbabweans face increasing poverty and hunger after years of debilitating economic recession.

Due to severe food shortages and high unemployment rates, Dube, like many other Zimbabweans, had no way of income generation and had to find a different way to feed her family. Together with nine other unemployed women, she applied to the Bulawayo municipality for a piece of land close to a council borehole.

The women now grow tomatoes, cabbages, onions, lettuce and other vegetables in a communal garden in Nkulumane, a working-class suburb in western Bulawayo. Their yields feed their families but also generate income in sought-after foreign currency, as they sell their vegetables in exchange for South African rand. . .

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