Three Tales of Development – Chikalumpha Youth Club

This last tale in development reminds me of what is possible. It starts when 14 members of a youth club all contribute 20 MK (about $0.15 Can) to buy mustard and rape plant seeds and continues as a vegetable garden flourishes at the base of a borehole.

You see, when a borehole is pumped to draw water, the water that exits the pump inevitably does not all end up in buckets. The extra water is channeled across the apron (concrete slab at the base of borehole) and down a concrete canal to be discharged onto the ground.  When not utilized or properly channeled, wastewater pools and creates an environment for mosquitoes and disease to breed.

What happens when waste water from a borehole is not properly diverted or utilized.

There is an alternative, the wastewater from a borehole can be channeled and used to irrigate a vegetable garden. This is what the Chikalumpha Youth Club did, they dug small channels which can be ‘opened’ or ‘closed’ with rocks as necessary to water the different plants in their garden.

Starting modestly with mustard and rape plants, the Youth Club now cultivate sugar cane, terere (okra), ntochi (bananas), cocoa, mustard, chimanga (corn), tomatoes, rape, mbatata (potatoes), tsabola (peppers) and mangoes. The sales of the vegetables net them 900 MK over the last month and is being used to purchase spare parts and finance maintenance of the borehole when necessary and to support the activities of a youth club.

Simple concept, great results – international development does not have to be about technological intervention or dramatic innovation, just harnessing the skills and assets in a community. I will let the photos speak for themselves.

A view of the vegetable garden.

The borehole is on the left, you can see the small trench that carries the water from the borehole to the garden on the right. Small trenches run throughout the garden to water the different crops.

A few members of the youth club.


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Craig Sandy on July 12, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    This is a smart investment. Something like Kiva (see, if you haven’t already.)


  2. Posted by David McColl on July 27, 2010 at 4:47 am

    sounds tasty.


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