SDGs: Striving for Self-Sufficiency and Sustainability

As discussed in previous blog posts, the international community is focused on sustainable development via the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The House of Blue Hope charity is working hard to achieve many of these SDGs, including:

  • SDG #1 No Poverty
  • SDG #2 Zero Hunger
  • SDG #3 Good Health and Well Being
  • SDG #4 Quality Education
  • SDG #5 Gender Equality   

Illustration of the UN seventeen SDGs

 

The charity in Tanzania has spent the last ten years working to break the inter-generational poverty that persists in many communities across Tanzania, and preventing some of the poorest, most vulnerable boys from ending up on the streets, by providing a quality education, shelter, food, and medical care. The community outreach projects the charity carries out in its immediate community in the Mabibo district of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as well as this year’s expansion to take in poor, vulnerable girls who would not be afforded their right to a full and complete education, nor the autonomy to choose a life for themselves, is part of its efforts to achieve SDG #5 (Gender Equality). By empowering the poor women in the Mabibo region of Dar es Salaam, and by providing the benefits of security, care, and a complete education for vulnerable girls, the charity is focused on reducing inequalities.  

 

Another hopeful development, and one that the charity anticipates will add more to the list of SDG sustainability goals above, is the cultivation of a plot of land, situated in the Kigamboni region of Dar es Salaam. With the express wishes of the owners, the plot is now being considered for agricultural development.  With the ever growing pressure on efficient land utilisation, and the need to keep costs as low as possible so that every dollar donated is responsibly and sustainably spent, the opportunity to harness the land for responsible consumption and production of food arose when Dar es Salaam based agribusiness Balton generously donated an irrigation system to the charity. 

Local men talk to House of Blue Hope Country Director, and CJ Eklund about the crops being grown in Kigamboni in Dar es Salaam Tnazania

The opportunity to develop the land came about when The Empathy Between Species Project facilitated the donation of an irrigation kit.

The charity is always looking to maximise the impact of the money and goods that it receives through generous donations. The donation of an irrigation kit by Balton, facilitated by The Empathy Between Species Project, has provided the charity with the opportunity to become more self-sufficient and sustainable. Through the cultivation of crops on the plot of land situated to the south of Tanzania’s biggest city of Dar es Salaam, the charity can become more reliant on its own produce to feed the growing kids in its care, rather than a monthly expenditure on food. The self-sufficient cultivation of nutritious crops would mean the charity is taking steps to fulfil SDG #11 (Sustainable Cities) and SDG #12 (Responsible Consumption and Production). In a rapidly expanding city, the resource demand is only going to increase significantly. The charity is keen to do its bit to reduce this burden. Any produce that is surplus to the charity’s requirements could then be sold on the local market, thus reducing the need for longer routes to market, as well as providing a modest revenue stream for the charity.

 

It would also reaffirm SDG #3 (Good Health and Well Being) by giving the kids that are housed in the crowded, built up region of Mabibo, the opportunity to learn about the origins of their food, as well as good land and crop management. It would also facilitate more awareness of a growing commercial sector in Tanzania: undoubtedly a beneficial experience. Such a connection to the food chain and the process of crop production would be a valuable, practical lesson for the kids beyond what they are taught in the classroom.

 

The question remains: Which crops are the best choice for the small plot of land in Kigamboni, in south Dar es Salaam? There are crops of maize grown nearby, but the charity is keen to provide the most nutrient rich crops for the kids in its care, and make the most of the land resource available.  As stated in this BBC feature, the need for super-crops that are more fruitful, drought resistant, disease tolerant, and nutritious are incredibly important for a country such as Tanzania, that has a youth bulge to sustain. Would the sandy soil be capable of sustaining crops such as Cowpea, Pigeon pea, Finger millet, Pearl millet, and Red Sorghum?

A small plot of grass covered land in the Kigamboni region of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania could be used to grow crops for the HBH charity

Thanks to the generosity of Agribusiness firm Balton Tanzania donating an irrigation kit, and landowners in the Kigamboni region south of Dar es Salaam, the charity is looking to grow its own crops. Will crops such as pigeon pea and finger millet flourish?

As this would be the House of Blue Hope charity’s first sustainability project, the charity is keen to learn from any experienced agribusiness operators based in Dar es Salaam who have workable knowledge of the area’s crop potential. If any readers have insight into these matters, and are interested in providing any aid in this area to help increase the self-sufficiency and sustainability of the charity, please do not hesitate to get in touch at info@houseofbluehope.org   

 

 

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