Voices from the Frontline – Urban Farming on the Rise to Boost People’s Food Security in Cape Town

Voices from the Frontline – Urban Farming on the Rise to Boost People’s Food Security in Cape Town

We are proud to share a story about urban farmers in Cape Town, South Africa by PlanAdapt’s Sumetee Pahwa Gajjar, published under the Voices from the Frontline initiative.

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered higher levels of indigency among the most impoverished and historically disadvantaged communities in South Africa. In many cities, such as Cape Town, and their larger metropolitan regions, communities living in informal settlements have faced acute food shortages. Their vulnerability is all the more acute because they have large immigrant populations from the rural areas.

The pandemic comes on top of existing vulnerabilities, such as high levels of unemployment; safety and security concerns due to high levels of domestic violence, substance abuse and gangsterism; and gaps in service delivery and infrastructure.

Several civil society organisations have stepped up their efforts, sometimes reactivating processes that were initiated earlier, to address long term food security. The result is a marked expansion in urban gardening in Cape Town’s informal settlements, to put food on people’s tables.

As the COVID-19 pandemic grips the world with unfolding health, economic and social impacts, grassroots communities are developing their own coping mechanisms in the face of the crisis. It is important to capture and document these stories in real-time as the world faces up to an even longer-term challenge of climate change.

Voices from the Frontline is a joint initiative by ICCCAD and CDKN to support communities across the globe in sharing their stories on the challenges of and the responses to the pandemic and the consequent lockdown. By accumulating and disseminating stories from different communities we hope to build resilience for the vulnerable in future emergencies.

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