Africa (GEN Africa):

Integrated Land Use Design and Greening Schools

A solution provided by Mugove Walter Ngyia, Malawi

Numerous communities in Africa are affected by critical issues such as hunger and malnutrition that still afflict millions of children in sub Saharan Africa. The education system does not really address this topic or support children and their families with the skills and knowledge to provide for themselves in an increasingly degraded environment. With his organisation SCOPE, the permaculture designer Mugove Walter Ngyia and his team have developed the Integrated Land Use Design (ILUD) process as a tool that school communities (learners, teachers and parents) can use to improve land use and environmental consciousness. It is a method that school communities can utilize in order to transform minds as well as landscapes in contributing towards the building of community resilience. With this process we use Permaculture design skills in the redesign of villages and schools in a participatory way. Mugove: "On average we reach out to about 600 children in each school community that we work with and, when successfully implemented, the programme improves access to hands-on practical education and nutritious food."

Over the past year, Mugove has worked with three school communities in three different provinces of Zambia. They are Shipungu in Central Province, Lushomo in Southern Province, and Kapete in Lusaka province. In each community he helps the stakeholders to come together and use their school as a learning centre for sustainable land use and building community resilience. The stakeholders include teachers, parents, students and community leaders and they agreed to work together to set up relevant demonstrations at their schools. At Kapete school the stakeholders have managed to harvest most of the runoff water that was causing erosion of the ground and they are now working on sowing the seeds for a food forest. On the other hand at Shipungu a food forest is already growing and the community have started to enjoy the first fruits. This process has given birth over the last few months to a young collaborative network on this work in Zambia which is called the Schools and Colleges Permaculture (SCOPE), Zambia. The SCOPE Zambia network has already started sharing experiences with related networks in the regions of East and Southern Africa. These connections have the potential not only to spread this work to other communities but also to deepen the experiences in each community.

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