Sinazongwe School Farming project

Location: Zambia
Status: Fundraising, Planning

Tevel is partnering with School Club Zambia and rural schools in Sinazongwe, to develop an Agriculture based income generating project that will provide revenue for the school to improve educational services, in addition to advanced agricultural training for students.

Subsistence-based farmers in rural Zambia suffer from a set of challenges connected to water scarcity and limited access to capital. This leads most farmers to focus primarily on maize farming (maize is the staple) that depends on rainfall, with little emphasis on other crops. Maize farming provides lean yields that are sensitive to drought. When asked, farmers in rural communities are quick to say that what they most need is access to the groundwater below them. This can often be achieved quite simply by drilling a borehole, installing a submersible pump, connecting it to an elevated water tank and powering it by a solar pump or diesel generator. However, farmers lack access to capital to fund such infrastructure. Typical interest on a loan for a subsistence farmer will reach a whopping forty percent – making the loan virtually unpayable.

Tevel’s Solution

Tevel proposes to provide groundwater accessing systems to local institutions such as farming cooperatives and schools. This will allow broad community participation and inclusive benefit from the infrastructure, leading to lasting ownership and maintenance of the systems. The potential in these physical systems will be multiplied by embedding them within a process of community building, technical capacity building and financial literacy training.

Collective ownership of the infrastructure will also create a platform for collaboration, which is the essence of the holistic work Tevel has always championed, highlighting community both for its practical applications and for the sense of belonging it provides individuals. Strong local institutions, that are based on collective trust and collaboration, are the underlying structure of a thriving, cohesive community. 

Project Structure: Our first project of this kind In Zambia will be an income generating vegetable garden in a rural primary school, in a village named Namofolo.

Project Structure: Our first project of this kind In Zambia will be an income generating vegetable garden in a rural primary school, in a village named Namofolo.
Many schools suffer from having no access to water. The nearest borehole can be miles away, which means children have to spend hours daily, walking over to the borehole to pump water for the school.
In rural Zambia, schools are the primary public institutions shared by the entire community.
The Zambian government expects schools to raise money or find resources from within these impoverished communities to hire teachers and improve facilities beyond the very minimum staff the Ministry of Education provides. Often the ratio is one teacher for every fifty students, and by using small income generating projects such as chicken coops, schools are able to hire additional full-time teachers.
Village schools do often have one significant resource, land, which is often unirrigated and unused.
If brought to scale, this project can support not only the school but also community members. Children will benefit from improved access to water, sanitation, nutrition and education. Moreover, by taking part in cultivating the farm they will gain valuable livelihood skills: everybody living in these areas is involved with agriculture to some extent, although most depend on rainfall. Early education for advanced irrigation techniques is an excellent way of improving future livelihood outcomes through agriculture.
The Funding required for the physical infrastructure for this project:
Digging Borehole : $4000
Water Pumping system: Solar panels, water tower and submersible pump: $15000
Fencing: $4000
Drip Irrigation system: $6000
Total: $33000

This project will achieve:
Providing access to water to hundreds of students who currently have to pump water by hand, often walking miles to retrieve water for the school.
Develop a school owned production unit that will provide income for the school, allowing it to improve infrastructure and hire essential additional staff.
Provide vocational agricultural training for school children, based on advanced irrigation techniques. As most rural families are involved with traditional rain dependent farming to some extent, this knowledge can transform future livelihood outcomes, especially in times of drought as seen in recent years.

We are currently fundraising $50,000 for a Matching Challenge, to support a new project Tevel’s Sustainable ״Agriculture Innovation center in Zambia״.

If you’d like to join the matching challenge, please let us know in your note.

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