Cape Town is one of the most prosperous cities in Africa and attracts many tourists on a yearly basis. However, the difference in welfare for people is huge. A lot of people still live in poverty and grow up in underprivileged areas of the city called townships. One of these townships is Belhar. The township is dominated by poverty, drug abuse, crime and gang wars. In this township the Belhar Early Childhood Development Centre tries to keep young kids from the streets, provide them with an education and give them healthy meals twice a day. In this way the children will have a better start to their lives and the living standard of the township can improve over time.
The center is special because it hosts an Aquaponics/hydroponics system which can provide the centre with either vegetables or herbs which can be either sold or used in the meals that are prepared for the children. Aquaponics and hydroponics are both ways of growing crops in a sustainable manner. The water is constantly being recycled and the fertilizer is one hundred percent organic.
We are Filip, Eva, Nicolas and Bram and are currently busy with improving the sustainability, long term success and financial aspect of the project. So far we have got the system running again on hydroponics and we are expanding the size of the project. Currently there are ten grow beds in which we can grow crops. We are going to expand to fifteen grow beds with the help of S4S. In these grow beds we are currently growing herbs, these herbs will be used to produce a salt mix in collaboration with the sustainable catering business Pure Good Food. We have set up a business plan which proved profitable and will be selling the salt mix so that the centre can make a constant monthly profit to invest into the social welfare of the children and further expand the system. The product will be sustainable, organic and will have a (in)direct positive impact on the township of Belhar.
You can follow our project on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Beleaf-Aquaponics-Cape-Town-2186761524708563/