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Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Green Campus Initiative (GCI) launched their Food Security Project where they started a garden at the Steve Biko Residence, last Saturday, 14 November 2020.

The aim of the project is to use the garden to plant vegetables in a bid to ensure that no student residing at this residence goes hungry.

GCI Chairperson Mandisa Kheswa, a final year Information and Communications Technology (ICT) student said this coming Saturday, 21 November 2020, they will be planting the vegetables seeds.

She added that they plan to plant vegetables such as onions, spinach, carrots and cabbages to help feed the disadvantaged students.

“On Saturday, it was just us clearing the space we allocated for our garden and fertilising the soil. We also brainstormed how we will grow vegetables. We established this garden after noticing that a lot of students don’t have enough food at res to last them for a month. This garden is going to assist those students. There will be a time where we will allow students to take vegetables from the garden,” said Kheswa.

She stated that the garden was established at a deserted spot at residence, which they felt they needed to put it in good use.

Kheswa elaborated that they were assisted by Doctor Khumalo, who is the Residence Advisor at the Steve Biko Residence.

Speaking about GCI, Kheswa said it is a student based organisation promoting green and sustainability which was formed in 2013. She said membership is open to any student despite their course or year of study.

“We deal with matters pertaining to environment, whether it is to go green, save water, save energy and other stuff. As an organisation, we have posted dialogues, because during COVID-19 lockdown we couldn’t meet and carry out our projects which mainly need human interaction. We had to come up with ways to conduct our projects in a manner that will not compromise the students’ safety,” said Kheswa.

Those interested in environmental sustainability and want to be part of this great initiative are invited to join GCI.

Kheswa said students interested can join GCI members at the Steve Biko Residence garden on Saturday, 21 November 2020.

She urged all the attendees to wear comfortable clothes and shoes and be ready to get dirty as they will be planting vegetable seeds.

Despite being an ICT student, Kheswa said her love for nature and planting vegetables started back home at Mahlongwa, KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.

Apparently she was attracted to GCI, the first time she heard about it and highlighted that she believes every student should at least volunteer at one organisation to make a change in people’s lives.

“What inspires me is to know that this project will touch the future. Even after I have left DUT, students will benefit from this garden. I believe every student should have a garden. I also like the initiative from Checkers of giving shoppers a pot plant. We have gathered these plants and have used them to decorate the residence yard,” said Kheswa.

Pictured: Members of the DUT GCI, fertilising the soil for their garden project.

Simangele Zuma

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