Land holds precious significance in Kilifi County, where it is a scarce commodity. Here, families struggle to make a living from small patches of land, often relying on staple crops like maize and cassava for survival. Consequently, a silent threat looms: widespread child stunting which affects nearly 47% of the children in the region.
However, amid these challenges, a silent revolution is taking root—one sack and leafy green at a time.
Oceans Alive, a local NGO supported by funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, quietly sows seeds of hope in these rural communities by employing an innovative approach to climate-smart kitchen gardening. Oceans Alive aims to transform food security by promoting homestead cultivation of vegetables—a rich and affordable source of essential nutrients such as vitamins A and C, various minerals, and fiber crucial for human health.
The climate-smart kitchen gardens, nurtured by local women and youth, use repurposed waste sacks and plastic containers filled with nutrient-rich soil and compost sourced from the land. These small-scale ecosystems require minimal space and water, offering an advantage in a region plagued by drought and limited access to water made worse by climate change.
Now part of over 500 households, this initiative brings amaranth, kale, and spinach to the tables across the region. Beyond the essential nourishment, the crops also brings empowerment. Women are seeing their shopping bills reduce as homegrown greens replace market purchases and surplus yields are sold at local markets generating much-needed income. Gradually, resilience against hunger takes root.
By working together, local women form and strengthen bonds through the establishment of self-help groups, turning their success stories into valuable learning experiences. Inspired by demonstration farms in schools, youth also become agents of change, signaling a promising future for sustaining this green revolution.
In an area of Kenya where scarcity has been the norm, Oceans Alive's climate-smart kitchen gardens create unexpected corners of abundance. This simple yet adaptable technology empowers land-poor communities to withstand the challenges of climate change, one delicious bite at a time. The ripple effect spreads, transforming Kilifi County with vibrant colors of resilience and a future nourished by homegrown hope.