By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
“The well is too deep. My back pains every time I draw water from it”, Adama Jarju, a young female gardener and breadwinner who is using her garden to support her family, explained her current plight to the Fatu Network.
Adama has a garden in Sifoe village in the West Coast Region of The Gambia. She uses the garden to provide food for her family and settle the school needs of her younger siblings.
“All that I acquired from the sales of the garden products is spent on my family’s needs”, she expressed.
Adama is the oldest daughter in the family and has been its breadwinner since the demise of her father in 2020. At age 27, she took up the responsibility for the affairs of her family through gardening which she began in 2018 with her father before his passing.
“I am the elder’s daughter of my parents. Since the passing of my dad, I have been responsible for my family. This garden helps me a lot. When I sell oranges, I used to make a lot of money, and all will go to the family spending”, she revealed to TFN.
Adama conveyed that she does not do a lot in her garden nowadays due to the lack of water and easy access to it. She narrated that the well is too deep and any day she uses the well to water her plants in the garden, she will experience a painful back pain which has dwindled her productivity in the garden. She explained that she can’t do so much in the garden now because it is affecting her. A predicament she said is disturbing her and weakening her financial muscles.
Adama has taken pride in gardening. She said that gardening puts food on her table and addresses certain financial problems in their house.
She began working on the garden in 2018 when her dad felt sick. She described that despite the father’s sickness then, he would force himself to do farming.
“My dad was very sick, but even though he’s sick he would still want to do farming. I had to stop him from going to the farm; so I took it from there. That’s what motivated me. From 2018 to date, I have not stopped. I know he’s very happy where he is and I am happy too that I can do something like this. My dad is my inspiration,” she voiced.
Adama does mix-planting. She plants Okra, Pepper, Cucumber, and Lettuce during the dry season. In the rainy season, she plants Cassava, Groundnut and beans to keep the feeding of her family alive.
But now, she is facing difficulties in continuing with the garden to feed her family.
According to her, she needs a borehole for her to keep the garden or else she might do little or nothing in the garden. She told TFN that she has spoken to people to come to her aid but to no avail.
“I spoke to a few about it but to no avail. Begging makes me ashamed. I need a borehole to keep the garden,” she asserted.