Programme to ensure food security

Phumlani Dlongwana, who owns a company called Zendalo Organics and Projects, shows Thembeka Bomoyi how to deal with insects on her garden.

Makhaza resident, Phumlani Dlongwana, is on a mission to teach residents how to grow their own food in small spaces – and the health benefits of having one’s own food garden.

Mr Dlongwana owns a company called Zendalo Organics and Projects and in conjunction with the Hope and Reconciliation Trust, they have initiated a food sustainability programme.

Mr Dlongwana said the programme was started this month and already 30 people have been given the basics to start their food gardens.

Food gardens, he said, not only help to ensure food security but also give residents the opportunity to consume fruit and vegetables with high vitamin and nutrient content.

And, he added, having a food garden teaches residents to have a relationship with the soil.

Mr Dlongwana said this is the first phase of the programme and soon they will recruit another 30 people and eventually expand to other parts of Khayelitsha.

“Having your own food garden, you are reducing the risk of eating vegetables which may contain harmful chemicals,” said Mr Dlongwana.

“When you have a garden, you are reducing your monthly expenditure on food (and it) also beautifies your home.

“Through this project, we are also taking care of the environment. You could make a living out of food gardens,” he said.

Programme participant, Thembeka Bomoyi, said she started a food garden because she wanted to save money. She now grows her own spinach and potatoes but wants to expand her garden.

Another participant, Noxolo Litholi, said she started growing her own vegetables before the national lockdown and now she is reaping the benefits.” I no longer buy spinach, potatoes and onions. I eat healthy food and I’m glad that I decided to start the garden,” she said.