A woman holds a basket of harvested vegetables while standing in a garden plot and looking at the camera.

Drying the harvest from her refugee permagarden at the onset of the dry season, Palabek refugee settlement.

Palabek Refugee Settlement, Northern Uganda. Incorporating the Resilience Design and permagarden methodologies of the USAID TOPS/SCALE program. December 13, 2018.

Learning principles from African Women Rising’s resilience design and permagarden program, South Sudanese refugees in Palabek refugee settlement deploy techniques that help mitigate destructive flooding and seasonal drought in the context of displacement. Mulch, contour swales and berms, deep soil preparation, biomass planting, drought tolerant perennials and tree crops- these are all core activities that help AWR farmers plan for a food-secure future. The permagarden method helps meet the short-term food needs of the refugees as it builds their long-term resilience. Despite refugee camps being inherently degenerative, refugees learn to manage natural resources through the intentional design of their compound, harvesting water and capturing waste streams to enhance the fertility and productivity of their 30m x 30m plot of land. The management of existing trees and planting other multipurpose trees, living fence and other biomass plantings provide materials for building, pest remedies, dry season nutrition and medicine. This helps reduce pressures on the environment – such as the collection of fuelwood, gathering of wild foods, burning of charcoal - that will continue to worsen as time goes on, exacerbating tensions between host communities and refugees. Strengthening the ecological base of food systems also reduces vulnerability across time by shoring up resilience in the face of climate instability and extreme weather events.

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Drying the harvest from her refugee permagarden at the onset of the dry season

Copyright © 2019 African Women Rising, Photo by Thomas Cole

Country Uganda

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