In a space where most saw a dumping ground for debris in the 2008 post-election violence, one community-based organization in Kibera saw the potential for an urban farm. Now they are re-educating youth in agricultural techniques and increasing food security in a dense urban setting.
Down in Darajani Kambimuru, youths have joined together to start a greenhouse project to provide the community with greens. This site used to be a dumping place, but now it has been transformed into a garden.
MOHAMED ABDULLAHI MOHAMED [Organizing Secretary, Sulphur Blue Youth Reforms]
I'm the organizing secretary of Youth Reforms, which is the oldest CBO [Community-Based Organization] in Kibera. It was started in 1995, and Youth Reform has come a long way. The youth were committing a lot of crime in this area, in the neighborhoods, and we knew it was not a good idea to do muggings, to rob people. That's why we put our heads together and started up projects that will help the community and help us. So far we have done a lot of things. First of all, right here where we are now was a dumping site in 2008 due to post-election violence. We had money, and all the markets were brought down, the shops and the houses. So we decided it was an asset that was here for all those years. We decided to put up a farm, so at least we would have food right at our doorstep. Our main aim is to help our community, and the youth specifically, to go back to agriculture. We are in urban settings, and a lot of people have migrated here from rural areas. Most of them have forgotten agriculture. So one part of it is education. Secondly, we are trying to provide them with food. So we are trying to utilize each and every space that we have to put up a farm.
The youths depend on this project for their livelihood and they are very much determined to produce as much as they can despite the challenges.
MOHAMED ABDULLAHI MOHAMED
The biggest challenge is to maintain it. If you don't maintain it, that will be a challenge. Another will be to keep people out when we are using pesticides. When we had a farm here, before we put up the greenhouse, a group called Kibera Youth Initiative for Community Development was supporting it. We got some funding, and we have a partnership with the University of Nairobi. They call themselves SIFE, Students In Free Enterprise. They are the ones who we are in partnership with right now with this greenhouse.
Reporting for KiberaTV, Alice Motieri, Nairobi, Kenya.