The drought is a huge problem for the growing population of Cape Town, South Africa. Especially the communities in the “townships”, the suburbs in which during the Apartheid “non-whites” lived, are struggling with the water scarcity. On top of that, gangs, thieves and junkies are causing an unsafe environment, especially for children.
In collaboration with the University of Cape Town, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Beleaf started a project at the Belhar Early Childhood Development Centre. This development centre offers shelter to almost one hundred children from the neighborhood so that they can escape their often terrible home situation for a while.
The University started an Aquaponics Project: a system that uses the excrement of fish to ecologically cultivate vegetables. A pump is used to transport the water with these excrements to the plants, which use this natural fertilizer to grow very fast. On top of that, the plants will filter the water, so that it can be pumped back to the fish. This way, the system uses 90% less water compared to regular soil farming and the vegetables are ready to be harvested after 30 days!
The whole Centre is involved in the project: teachers show how to harvest vegetables and the children will be able to create labels and packaging of vegetables and jars. The vegetables and fish can both be used for own consumption and be sold, so that the profit can go back to the community of Belhar.
As of this moment, the Childhood Centre has got two vegetable grow beds. This gives them the opportunity to produce a few vegetables and sell this to Pure Good Foods, a company that caters companies and schools. However, the Aquaponics System is not able to make enough profit to sustain itself and expansion to more grow beds is needed.
Our team provided a business plan to the Childhood Centre, which they can use to generate more income. With the collected funds and expertise, the goal is to add eight additional grow beds. This would let the Aquaponics System generate enough income, which can be transferred back to the benefit of the children, providing them with new materials and toys.
Want to know more about the project? Visit our website: https://www.beleafaquaponics.com