Nutrition gardens changing lives in Zimbabwe
By Richard Nyamanhindi
As most traditional gardens in Zimbabwe go, Esinati Simamngo’s was not blessed with variety.
Hers featured one type of vegetable – the traditional covo and her approach to growing was that “food was just food.”
That was before she was trained in running a nutrition garden, as part of the ECHO funded nutrition program implemented by UNICEF and the Ministries of Health and Child Welfare and that of Women, Gender and Community Development.
Now, that same garden is producing a vibrant spread of vegetables, along with a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.
After training given by the programme, Esinati has learned how to harvest, preserve and cook those vegetables to harness their positive effects.
Esinati says: “My life has changed. I’m able to get the vegetables I need such as tomatoes, carrots and beetroots from my garden.”
Through the Food Security Nutrition Committees that were established in 2013, households in Chipinge, Manicaland Province in Zimbabwe received training on pest and disease control, post-harvest handling and nutrition.
Key among the benefits are vitamins and minerals from spinach, carrots, onions and other vegetables that help boost immunity and slow the progression to AIDS among HIV sufferers.
Under the programme which started in January 2013, garden activity has increased dramatically to include more than 500 households in Chipinge as of March 2014.