The second term of school is over and learners have gone for a break. What have we done so far in the implementation of Integrated Land Use Design at PermacultureKang’oma primary school? Well, since Kusamala embarked on this project, so much has been done at Kang’oma primary school. Most of the work was done in the areas of community mobilization and training, developing a holistic goal and whole land design, soil fertility, water harvesting, tree planting and crop diversity amongst others.

Holistic goal

Sukulu yathu mzaka 20 idzakhale ya chikoka; yopezeka ndi zinthu zosiyanasiyana monga zakudya zamagulu onse nthawi ina iriyonse ya pa chaka, nthaka ya bwino, mitengo ya mbiri, yotetezedwa ku mphepo, mpweya wabwino komanso madzi abwino ndi mankhwala.

This goal literally translates as:

Our school in 20 years should be attractive; endowed with so much food of the six food groups at all times of the year, have fertile soil, so many trees, protected from strong winds, good air and water as well as medicinal plants.

Stakeholder Involvement

Throughout the project, the stakeholders have been key to the successful implementation of the first term of the project. They have helped through the provision of seeds, manure, labour, advice and most of all they encouraged each other and other community members not to let their livestock graze in the school premises.

Plant Diversity

As the project aims towards achieving a diversity of at least 5 varieties of fruit trees, 5 leguminous plants, 10 different food crop, Kangóma managed to plant many food crops and trees, such as: Mulberry, Tamrind, Lemons, Mangos, DiversityBananas and Papayas, Msangu, Mthethe, Moringa, Soya, Cow peas, beans and Ground nuts, Sorghum, local cucumber, Rosella, Black jack, hot pepper, Amaranth, Maize, pumpkins, mint, lemon grass, okra (with pods), tomatoes, basil, mustard, rape and sweet potatoes.

Water and Waste management structures and systems

In the quest to manage water, the project planted trees to cover the bare ground and increase groundwater storage. Banana circles were also made and holes were dug in strategic places to harvest and store water that was previously just running through the surface of the school grounds. Cover crops were also interplanted in the beds to protect the soil from direct sunlight and decrease evaporation. Mulching has also been encouraged, especially for the dry season, to protect soil moisture. Interventions in the next season will help to reach the objective of achieving maximum ground covers.

Teachers and parents have already begun buying some of the vegetables produced at the school. This money will be used to maintain the gardens in terms of seeds and other necessities. A tree nursery has already been started with 70 Mango trees and guavas. Bearing in mind that the project is focusing on whole school land design, there interventions are yet to be expanded- Start small and grow big, making the least change for the greatest effect.