Urban Gardening in Gaza

Supporting communities to develop and implement sustainable approaches

In response to high rates of food insecurity and limited access to agricultural lands in Gaza, DCA-NCA supports people to apply innovative approaches to achieve optimal investment for urban agriculture modalities, hence reduce people’s dependency on external aid. 

Ibrahim Ridwan, 37 years old, lives in Abasan Village in the south east of Gaza with his wife and 4 children (two sons and two daughters). In 2006, when Israel imposed the siege on Gaza, Ibrahim lost his job and left with no source of subsistence. Since that time, Ibrahim has been depending on temporary works with very low wage that is not enough to meet the basic needs of his family.  

The suffering of Ibrahim's family was worsened when Ibrahim became ill with nerve disease that partially affected his ability to work and that needed special types of medicines. The bad situation of the family was reflected on the health and nutrition of their sons and daughters.

One of Ibrahim's daughters, Sama, whose age is 1 year, suffers from anemia and underweight. Ibrahim was hopeless and helpless, and he could not offer anything to help his dear small daughter other than exerting more efforts to look for a job despite of his poor health. Ibrahim used to pay the lion share of his income for the medicine for him and for his daughter. "Like other parents, I always wished if I could have done more for my children" Ibrahim said

DCA-NCA in Palestine works with MA'AN (the food security partner) and AEI (the nutritional health partner) to provide humanitarian nutrition and health response for vulnerable children under 5 years old in vulnerable areas in Gaza Strip.

The intervention provides health nutritional care for the malnourished children besides providing their families (who are in urgent need for food assistance) with fresh food, grocery and animal source protein vouchers over 5 months.

Sustainable and cost effective

While responding to urgent food and nutrition needs, the intervention introduced a comprehensive approach to build the capacity of the vulnerable food insecure households to apply sustainable and cost effective urban gardening practices and reduce their dependency on external aid. The support included sensitization sessions, technical training on establishing and managing urban gardens, provision of urban gardening inputs and extension services.

Ibrahim provided extensive efforts to take care of the unit and saved some money from his temporary works to enlarge and expand it. At the end of the season, the unit produced about 200 Kg of vegetables which covered the majority of the family needs of fresh food over the season. This has contributed to improve the nutritional health status of Ibrahim's children.

Ibrahim's wife said "we feel that we belong to the unit; Ibrahim spends a lot of time taking care of it and working to expand it. During the last season, the unit provided us with the majority of our needs from the vegetables and we hope that its production will be larger in the coming season. I encourage my children to help their father in taking care of the unit and I encourage my neighbors to replicate it in their homes" 

Ibrahim continued "I am preparing now for the coming season and I hope that the productivity of the unit will increase". 

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