Can you imagine living with food shortages in your 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond? Aging is a natural phenomenon that happens to every living thing; we have all experienced the challenges of getting older! As human beings advance in age past 50 years, energy levels decrease, mobility slows down, and aches and pains can increase.
In Malawi, many elderly people live with the challenges of poverty, food shortages, and disease; so it stands to reason that they cannot do a lot of physical work like gardening.
Not so for Mr. Paulo Zakeyu! He is among the few elderly people that do not just want to receive help, but would rather work to earn a living. Since life expectancy in Malawi is just 63 years, Mr. Zakeyu is considered an elderly man at the age of 60. He is among the people that face challenges during their day to day lives; however, his passion for agriculture is an encouragement to every farmer in the Mango Agricultural Club and the entire Africa Windmill team! Mr. Zakeyu joined Mango Club of Africa Windmill Project in 2017 in order to learn agricultural practices for the .25-acre garden where he grows winter crops . He is one of so many farmers who are following the lessons that Africa Windmill Project teaches. He has made irrigation basins, mulched his garden, planted beans (mixed cropping), and followed correct spacing and other practices which he learned through the training. The challenge that he has been facing as an elderly man is that of carrying watering cans to irrigate his crops. In past years, Mr. Paulo relied on a well in a neighboring garden where he was drawing water for irrigating crops in his garden.
In May of this year, his garden was assessed by Africa Windmill Project’s team and it was found that a well could be dug on one upper corner of his garden, and that his garden was a good candidate for rope and washer pump. The team made a recommendation to Mr. Zakeyu to dig a well with the specifications that he was given.
By early June, Mr. Zakeyu had dug the well and he received a rope and washer pump which has simplified his irrigation. Instead of spending hours each day carrying his heavy watering can back and forth, he is now able to irrigate the whole garden just once a week. How? Irrigating with a rope and washer pump, in combination with mulching, keeps the soil moist for an entire week, thus saving time and energy for Mr. Zakeyu!
You can help other farmers like Mr. Zakeyu! Sponsor a farmer today!