Improving food security through kitchen gardens in Sindh
In 2011, severe flooding affected millions of people in Sindh, Pakistan. Many lost their homes and livelihoods and have struggled to find the means to rebuild their lives. ACTED launched a shelter and food security assistance to support affected communities by providing shelters, kitchen gardening kits and tree plants to help them start to rebuild their lives.
Choti is a widow from in Sindh, Pakistan. She lives in one of the 23 districts in South Sindh which was devastated by large scale flooding in the summer of 2011. Estimates from the government of Pakistan and the humanitarian community indicate that nearly 5.15 million people were affected, and an estimated 1.8 million were displaced in the province according to a multi-sector needs assessment. Around 50% of the affected were children, and 25% were adult women.
Nearly 90% of those who were displaced have now returned back to where they used to live before the flooding, with most finding their homes and land destroyed. When Choti’s village was flooded, she was forced to live on the side of a road for weeks. Before the flooding, Choti lived with her eight children and made her living off the land. After the flooding, she was left with no home and no source of income.
Early recovery following the emergency
Choti and her fellow villagers were supported by ACTED through a programme of shelter and food security assistance. ACTED has implemented programmes including early recovery assistance in the form of community infrastructure rehabilitation through cash for work and food for work activities. Adaptable and locally appropriate shelters were provided, as well as tools, kitchen gardening and tree inputs, with relevant trainings. . This was achieved through one project supported by USAID.
Choti was selected as a beneficiary due to her level of vulnerability, through the community organisation that was established to help select the beneficiaries in her village. She received a kitchen gardening kit, tools and trainings on best practices for growing vegetables. These were intended to encourage sustainable approaches to planting and food production. She has been able to reduce her food insecurity by using the vegetables from her garden for cooking and now makes enough money to meet her household needs. When asked how her life has been affected as a result of ACTED’s intervention, Choti reported learning about modern farming techniques, how to prepare the land, sow seeds and techniques to grow vegetables and improve her farming activities in the future. Choti said: “I have been able to grow and use my own vegetables, and I have enough both to sell and to keep for me and my family.”