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Permagarden Refugees

In Uganda, refugees ensure our future one garden at a time


We are all the same as the person living at the end of a remote red dirt road in the Sudanese refugee camp in rural Uganda.  Just by chance, for the moment, we are in more fortunate situations. With every day that climate change goes unchecked, those of us in industrialized countries are one day closer to the same instability and food scarcity.  This issue will matter to us as much if we live in a city as if we live in a refugee settlement.


As head trainer of the garden project, Thomas Cole, put it, “With greater weather fluctuations worldwide, our focus is on soil and water. In a dry environment, if we can help people understand how to capture and use water in the best possible way, these practices can create lasting change that will create a more resilient system.  There is no magic bullet, but we can work to build the soil-food web and microbiology. The more we have the capacity to deal with “extreme” weather and the better we can withstand the unknowns of climate fluctuation and timing. These practices stabilize the environment when hit by extreme weather.”

One day in the not so-distant future, a refugee farmer from this remote camp in Northern Uganda may be one of the few “experts” in the world who has honed the skills of “permagardening”.  She could be the one that takes you on a resource walk, instructs you how to dig a double-dug bed, set up the half moon water catchment and harvest the seeds that you and your family need to survive, just as she did once upon a time. You may want to support these budding experts now. 

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