As I’m sure any armature gardener would know a garden is only as strong as its fence. This is especially true in a country like Namibia where all foliage comes fully equipped with thorns and rain is scarce. Goats and cows have an uncanny ability to finagle their way through the smallest of holes, and as anyone who has ever been around goats knows that once one goat goes somewhere the rest will follow. This can, and will, end in an all you can eat salad buffet for any four legged creature in Nam if necessary precautions are not taken. I have learned from countless garden projects and from my own experience that a poor fence can have disastrous repercussions.
In preparation for our irrigation system, myself and the project members took a weekend to create a proper fence around the new part of the garden. Fueled up on fresh papaya (from our existing garden!!) and shikundu (mahangu drink that is responsible for powering all inhabitants of Kavango Region), our project manager Mushonga, 15 of our wonderful ladies, 6 of our men, and myself successfully created a one hector fence in 2 days. The fence is a mixture of traditional and nontraditional materials. As part of the grant agreement, the project members went into the bush to cut fence poles, mesh wire was donated by a member of the community, and barbed wire was purchased with grant funding.
While most of the project members were diligently working on our new fence, a select few (with building skills) helped a traditional builder from the village set the tank stand in cement. We are now completely prepared for the irrigation system to be installed in the next couple of days with the help of Mega Build and some local irrigation experts. Below are some photos of the fence that we created, a nice mixture between traditional and modern. Fingers crossed that everything goes according to plan….or at least works out in the end!