Farm & Irrigation Mkutani, Tanzania

Health & Irrigation Team with the school teacher Testing Rainwater

Project Description

The overall scope of this project is to design and implement an irrigated garden for the Mkutani Primary school, which serves around 600 students. There is currently no vegetable garden on the school property. The headmaster identified that while most students go home for lunch, around a third of the students live too far away and rely on meals provided by the school. The aim of the project is to provide supplemental food (the list of fruits/vegetables provided by the headmaster includes: spinach, local spinach, Chinese cabbage, pawpaw, and guava) at mealtimes for these students. The garden will also serve as an educational tool for students and adults in the school community to learn agricultural skills.

In order to create a garden that best suits the needs of the stakeholders, EWB-MIT needs to investigate solutions for several aspects surrounding the garden, mainly (1) the water source, (2) the irrigation method to be used with the garden, and (3) the best agricultural practices for the region. During the assessment trip in June 2022, the team collected geospatial data of the site, water quality data of potential water sources, soil quality and drainage data, and information about local farming practices and community preferences for the garden. We found that the biggest challenge would be finding a water source for the garden, since the local river is very far from the site and the water quality doesn’t meet the standard for irrigation. The next step of the project is to investigate alternative water sources, which can include finding a new underground water source or designing a rainwater catchment system to go with the irrigation system.