"The many challenges that people face in Kibera include overcrowding, a lack of water (clean or otherwise), practically no sanitation services; and, a lack of land ownership. Despite these hardships, some residents are managing to thrive.
These residents are an enterprising group of mainly female farmers who are growing food for their families; and, managing to grow enough to sell some to their neighbours as well. These "self-help" groups are springing up all over Kenya giving youth, women and vulnerable people the opportunity to organize; share information and skills; and improve their well-being while giving them a voice that would not be heard otherwise.
These women are growing vegetables in what they call "vertical farms or vertical gardens". These farms are tall, recycled sacks filled with soil. The women grow crops in them on different levels (vertical farms) by poking holes in the bags and inserting seeds and/or seedlings at different levels. The crops planted are usually spinach, kale, sweet pepper and spring onions; but, there are other choices of veggies available.
The women’s group received training, seeds, seedlings and sacks from the French non-governmental organization (NGO) Solidarites to start their sack gardens.
The International Committee of the Red Cross recognized sack gardening as a solution to food security in urban areas during the 2007/08 political crisis in the slums of Nairobi. For approximately a month, no food was allowed to enter any of the slums from rural Kenya; but, thanks to the number of women growing food in sack gardens; and, on public land (railway lines, river banks), most residents didn't go without food."
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