Tujereng Women Gardeners Plead for Support after Flood Destroys Their Garden


Mariama Marong

Tujereng Women’s Gardeners have again called for government intervention to remedy their devastating situation that occurred due to heavy flooding. In 2022 flooding had catastrophic impact on their vegetable garden because flood waters submerged the entire garden and made the soil unsuitable for cultivation.

The government failed to render support to women gardeners during the 2022 heavy downpour that destroyed the entire garden and yet again this year flooding interrupted their activities. More than one hundred women are engaged in Gardening at Tujereng, the downpour has led to standstill of all horticultural activities and left the women wondering about their future as gardeners.

Speaking to Foroyaa, Lamin Sonko, a native of Tujereng said the Women’s Garden is an essential source of livelihood for the women of the community because it provides means of livelihood to their families. He noted that the situation in the garden is a mess which needed immediate solution because currently there are no gardening activities taking place in the area which means no production activities, indicating that, that would cause a serious setback to the women and the community at large.

Mr, Sonko lamented that history has repeated itself again as “devastating floods have forced the majority of vegetable gardeners out of the garden and the consequences have been dire, with a significant economic setback lasting almost five months. Sadly, the same ordeal is unfolding again, with gardeners abandoning the garden as the rainy season gets to its climax, and those brave enough to cultivate rice are facing harsh challenges.”

This he said has caused serious impact in rice cultivation. Sonko further called on the government or Area Council to build a reliable drainage system so as to ensure the sustainability and success of the Tujereng Women’s Garden and to prevent reoccurrence of flooding in the area.

He said what the women need is attention and immediate action to remedy the situation for the fact that other lives depend on the women gardeners for livelihood.

 “The women need drainage systems that will not only prevent the flooding that has devastated the garden in the past, but will also enable the women to cultivate their crops, even during the rainy season.”

In expressing their ordeals to Foroyaa Aja Majai Sonko acting president of Tujereng Women’s Garden said this is the second time they have experienced such a magnitude of calamity.
She said more than one hundred and thirty women are engaged in gardening to make ends meet.

“These women now stay at home doing nothing because nobody dares to go to the garden at this moment because of the damage caused by the heavy downpour which has destroyed all our crops, vegetables and even seeds.

“We have spent huge amounts of money in the garden in order to ensure high yields in anticipation of higher income.

She called on government especially the ministry of agriculture to help in creating a drainage system and to find a lasting solution to the problem.

Borry Njie a gardener lamented the disheartening and sad moment for all
women who are involved in gardening at Tujereng Women’s Garden.

She added that it is very a difficult situation for them to bear because all their hard work had gone in vein. While in tears, she called on government to find a solution and put end to their suffering. “This is now a norm which will ‘consume’ us all, if nothing is done.”

“Our garden is full of stagnant water and the water has nowhere to go and it has destroyed all our vegetables and crops. We work in a garden to take care of our family, pay our children’s school fees, but now all that is affected,” she said.

Njie urged government to consider rural women and find a lasting solution to their problems.

Binta Saidy also a gardener at Tujereng Women’s Garden expressed similar sentiments.