My name is David Munyindeyi. I’m 34 years old. I live with my wife, Mate and our four children in Mongu, Western Zambia. Our village is many miles from the nearest town.
We grow the food we eat on a small piece of farmland. Our plants are watered by the seasonal rains. If the rains don’t come when they are expected the crops die and we are left with nothing.
The soil is very dry and in the past we really struggled to farm it. I could only grow enough to last four months. The rest of the year, I’d do odd jobs in exchange for food. Money was a big problem. We’d try and eat two meals a day if we could but sometimes we’d have nothing at all. My children were malnourished. It was so sad to see.
When I heard that I could learn new ways of farming, I went and signed up that day. I consider myself one of the lucky ones to have been involved in this project. We got seeds, tools, a bike which we share with 4 other families and most importantly, knowledge. I’ve learned how to get the land ready for planting, how to space out my crops and how to improve the quality of the soil using compost and manure.
It’s changed our lives. Hunger isn’t such a big problem. I grow maize, cassava, sweet potatoes ground nuts and vegetables. We don’t have to buy vegetables because we grow our own. We even have some extra to sell our neighbours. I was able to buy solar panels that charge up a battery. Now we have an electric light in our house and can listen to music!
I feel delighted to be able to provide for my family. I hope my children have a better life, starting from now. We take them with us when we go to the fields so that they can pick up the new types of farming. I’d love them to make use of the skills we’ve learned so that they can be independent and won’t have to struggle the way we did.
This year, water has been a big challenge because there wasn’t enough rain. The flood plains are dry and it’s been difficult to farm. It would’ve been so much harder if we hadn’t had this help. We’re very grateful to the people of Scotland for their support. Please continue helping so that we can keep improving our lives and sharing the knowledge with our neighbours.