The MaYalo Project was started in rural Eastern Cape in a little village called Holy Cross 100km from Kokstad. The project focuses on food security and climate reality as well as assisting women coops that are mainly run by illiterate and elderly widows.
Most have lost their husbands to migrant labour or their husbands are away seeking employment further away from their homes. These women are faced with clean water challenges and scarcity and have to travel long distances to fetch drinking water, making it much harder to start sustainable farming projects.
The project is named after MaYalo, an elderly woman who plants crops in her home garden. MaYalo will be the first recipient of Hippo Water Rollers:
- The size of the land is in excess of 3 hectares roughly.
- The main crop on MaYalo’s home plot is amadumbe and a number of cultivars of sweet potato including a rare/unique orange sweet potato that is mostly supplied to the local hospital as it is widely acclaimed for its health boosters.
- Fruit trees in bloom include apples, oranges and bananas. Maize and beans are grown on a 1 hectare plot away from the house.
- MaYalo travels the long distance to the river every morning and afternoon with her 20l buckets which is time consuming.
- Her elderly husband tries to help and pushes a wheelbarrow with two or where possible three x 20l.
- The couple are elderly and this is a continuous strain and impacts on their income levels as they sell their produce to the local community as well as the school across the road.