Community Development

Meya Magomeni Permaculture Community Garden turning a struggling neighborhood into a flourishing community.

If cities change, so does the world.

Magomeni, Zanzibar
2021 — Ongoing

Meya Magomeni Permaculture Community Garden

Turning a struggling neighborhood into a flourishing community

The Permaculture Design Company adheres to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of 2015 and uses the principles and ethics of Permaculture in approaching the landscape design for the new concept of the Vibijwa pond area at the Meya Community in Zanzibar. The Sustainable Development Goals are 17 global objectives adopted by all parties of the United Nations to guide efforts towards eradicating poverty and addressing sustainable development worldwide. Tanzania is a signatory to these global objectives.

The SDG 11 also known as the Urban SDG aims to ”Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” Considering that cities represent half of the world’s population and two-thirds of the global economy, it can be said that the SDGs had been adopted in an urban world. It is for this reason that we recognize that issues like poverty eradication, climate change reduction, inequality, higher education, employment, etc. are fundamentally relevant and crucial to urban areas like the Vibijwa Pond area. Urban areas will be the central economic, political and social hubs of the 21st century.

Presently, we have seen that cities need to transform themselves to overcome diseases resulting in pandemics and find innovative ways that will end up benefiting all future residents as in creating urban green belts for walking and biking at a safe distance in even the densest places, easy access to nature for urban areas that will keep productive farmland and fresh food supply nearby, as well as initiatives on protecting the most exposed city residents. PDC can achieve various SDGs and other common-sense steps in the Meya community and Zanzibar in general through the tools of permaculture by developing practical solutions to challenges facing urban centers.

The collection of “indigenous knowledge is a foundation of our design” - After reading the Meya Magomeni community profile, interviewing the community and Kassim Khamis Nyuni, Director, ZanPUD, Executive Member Recovery Community Zanzibar (Sober Houses) we came to the following main features of our design as well as point out the Sustainable Development Goals that these actions tackle: a Baraza - garden, a Free market, a Play school, a Vibijwa Permaculture community garden, a Plant nursery, a Composting & soil area and a Community centre.

The Play School

Support mothers working on the markets, vegetable gardens, poultry area or value adding area.

SDG 4 - Quality education - Education enables upward socioeconomic mobility and is a key to escaping poverty. Our idea is to create a natural and safe environment, dry and cool for the children to play in and to learn while the mothers are in the gardens or at the market. The existing local vegetable growing group in the Vibijwa Pond area consists of 50 women. These buildings and areas can be created with natural materials and methods such as superadobe. The area next to the school and the play school should be planted with a low coconut variety, a traditional crop of that area to create shade. Mothers can now create income without disturbance, have peace of mind and will be able to pay the salary and running costs for the Play School. Mothers will cook the food from the gardens for the children as well as the participating recovering drug addict patients who are working on the waste collection and composting.

Magomeni Permaculture Community Garden

Terrace agriculture

To grow nutritious food for the families in this area and to create income for the local women’s group. 149 million children under 5 years of age—22 percent of the global under-5 population—were still chronically undernourished in 2018. SDG 2 - Zero Hunger - To end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. Food security requires a multi-dimensional approach – from social protection to safe and nutritious food especially for children - to transforming food systems to achieve a more inclusive and sustainable world. First of all, we would like to terrace the area towards the storm water drain to address the flooding situation and clogging of the drain in this green space.

Vibijwa Permaculture Community Garden

Slowing down, spreading and sinking stormwater

Slowing down, spreading and sinking stormwater can help protect your property and increase its value, provide a free source of water for irrigation, conserve drinking water, beautify your landscape, promote groundwater recharge and much more. The Gardens should consist of annual, perennial crops and also medicinal plants. A variety of fruit trees should be planted to create areas of rest in the shade. Some grafted trees will be preferred as this will let the space remain sunny and open. The trees will help to cool the area and will attract pollinators. The lower and more water rich areas should be planted with mint, magimbe and bamboo for a long term permanent supply of materials. Bamboo leaf is also a good chicken feed and valuable for mulching in the vegetable gardens. The bamboo could be in the long run also used to heat a rocket stove in the nutrition kitchen.

We suggest a permaculture gardening training on site for the participants in the community supported by already existing manuals. We can in the future assist in training the trainers of the community to become a truly sustainable model and develop into a training center for other communities to follow.

Chicken Coop “Banda la kuku”

The chicken that digs for food will not sleep hungry. – Bayombe Proverb

SDG 12 - Responsible consumption & production - Sustainable consumption and production can contribute substantially to poverty alleviation and the transition towards low-carbon and green economies. Chickens have multiple functions in a garden system and can provide important services such as composting, pest control and soil preparation. Some women can decide to grow chickens for meat or some for eggs. Considering the culture of street food in Zanzibar, the open market area that ARS Progetti is designing, could also be used for food vendors at night.

Composting & Soil building

The Meya Magomeni community Sack garden project

The secret to having a good organic garden is to feed the soil and build the ecosystem. You want to strive for balance in the garden. SDG 13 - Climate Action - As countries move toward rebuilding their economies after COVID-19, recovery plans can shape the 21st century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, safe and more resilient. The current crisis is an opportunity for a profound, systemic shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet. The problem becomes the solution - we suggest involving the local Sober House (a Drug Rehabilitation Center) in turning organic waste into compost. In addition, they can also help in creating something called “Sack Garden”. The Sack Gardens can be sold to the surrounding communities and planted as an income for the patients of the Sober house. This collaboration could hopefully uplift the entire community. Waste is a serious issue in Zanzibar and should be of serious concern at the Marketplace. The Sober House should be trained and could receive payment for managing the waste at the Marketplace.

Plant Nursery

For Vegetable Seedling Production & Seed saving

At the Magomeni Permaculture Community Gardens, we suggest starting a plant nursery where vegetable, herb and medicinal seedlings can be grown by a group of women. They can be also used for the Garden and the Sack Garden Project. Another worthwhile offshoot of this Garden project is to be able to cultivate and protect local open pollinated varieties and contribute to a Zanzibar community seedbank. This could be a simple shade structure that can also be used to fill the sacks for the Sack Garden project.

Community Kitchen

Adding value

This area should provide the space for women to cook, preserve, dry, and package the various nutritious foods they grow. The introduction of a low tech, low energy rocket stoves and the use of bamboo as fuel from the garden would be an asset. An already existing successful women’s cooperative based in Matemwe called DADA Zanzibar could provide the training training to the women.



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Contact & Location

Permaculture Design Company
+255 757 334 156

We are located in Fumba, Nyamanzi!

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P.O. Box 3564

Zanzibar Urban West