Youth are using their small spaces in the slum of Kamwokya, a Kampala city suburb, to practise urban farming as a way of helping them do away with criminal activities such as theft.
The youth grow vegetables such as sukuma wiki, tomatoes, onions, eggplants, maize and spices, among others, in food towers made using sacks and used containers.
“These containers are picked from around our community so we use them to plant the crops. We do not need to have gardens, the containers are our gardens,” Muhammad Bogere Sconto, 24, says, adding that the youth work under an organised group.
The group also grows tea and food spices that they sell in flower pots made out of used bottles.
“We sell each at sh5000 and we always sell to the community around. In a month, we get sh90,000 from the flowers and spices. With vegetables, sometimes we sell vegetables worth sh170,000 per month and we sell to the community. We also eat them to boost our nutritional needs,” he says.
The group members share the money is shared among themselves and some little is reserved as savings. They have also started making glasses by cutting used wine bottles to make glasses.
Susan Babirye, a member, says before they started, she was just in the slum doing nothing.
Babirye says could not afford to buy herself some requirements such as pads and other needs. “But now as a farmer, I am very happy that I am earning.”
She says though the money they are earning is little, at least it helps her earn a living and she is optimistic that in future they will scale up their operations and earn more.