Since 2007 Namenyi Project Hope has been assisting rural area schools in becoming self sufficient as far as food is concerned, by training them to grow vegetables in tunnels, a simple type of greenhouse. The school staff and children grow and harvest high nutrition vegetables like spinach or cabbage.
The tunnels are 9m x 4m and manufactured of plastic pipe and 40% density shade cloth. They come ready to assemble and with kits to begin planting. This includes all the necessary fertilizers and spinach plants. The success rate is not determined by good soil, former gardening experience or even running water.
The turnover yield is approximately 8 times more than it would be in an open garden.
The crop being grown can continue in these vegetable tunnels for 6 to 7 months.
Additionally, vegetables grown in these tunnels are largely protected against climatic extremes, as well as free from insect attack and other destructive blight.
The vegetables grown are added to the daily soup ration customarily fed to school children in primary and secondary schools. For many of these children, this may be the only meal of the day that they have, heightening the need for it to be as nutritious as possible.
Each food tunnel costs only $270 and each set of seedlings provides 12-14 harvests, after which the only further investment is the cost of new seedlings.
All these positive attributes have made these vegetable tunnels extremely effective in the grassroots fight against poverty, hunger and HIV/AIDS.