A 47-year-old unemployed resident of Bethanie, Aloisius Coleman says the road to the success of his garden at the village is long but he remains patient and believes that it will work out.
Coleman in an interview with Nampa at the southern village on Wednesday said when he started the garden two years ago, he planted onions, beetroot, spinach and cabbage, however he could not harvest as the vegetables were not growing due to the salty, hard sand.
“I had to get new sand in because the sand that was in the garden by then was too hard, now I had to put the new sand in plastics so that the new sand is protected from the one underneath. But I remain hopeful that this time around it will work out. Gardening is not a fast business, one needs patience,” he said.
He said besides the salty sand of the area, the garden also needs a shade net as the vegetables are exposed to the sun and that further hinders their growth.
Coleman said he started the garden with the aim of showing young people at the village that they have to work hard and do something for themselves and not wait for handouts.
“I want these young people to know that they have to work hard. There are no job opportunities here, I am unemployed myself and I want them to look up to me and maybe they can take inspiration and also do something with their hands to improve their living standard,” he stressed.
He said his future plans are to expand the garden, involve young people to help curb unemployment and also supply affordable vegetables to the local community.
“In this space it will not work, the space is too small, I want to expand so that I am able to plant more, harvest more and sell not only to this community but elsewhere too, like to a big shop in Keetmanshoop or so,” said Coleman.
Coleman is a man of many talents as he is also making bricks to build his own house. When Nampa visited him, he was covered in cement and beside him were bricks, cement and sand.
“I am currently making at least 75 bricks per day, as soon as I make them, I have to continue building the house. I want this to turn into a business too so I can supply bricks to the people of this community despite it being difficult to mix the sand and cement by hand and it being difficult to get cement locally,” he said.
Source: The Namibian Press Agency