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Project objectives and outcomes

The objective of the 'Maternal and child health project" is to support relocated communities to establish vegetable gardens to increase their nutritional status, especially for children under five and pregnant women.

SurfAid is working with the Mentawai Agricultural Department  to deliver this through training in soil assessment, testing, and soil improvement techniques.  Over the next few years, further work will be done to prepare communities for income generation from surplus vegetables.

Project Location

SurfAid is working in nine villages located in inland South Pagai, Mentawai Islands, that were relocated after the 2010 tsunami. Transportation and logistics in this region are challenging at the best of times as these photos show.

Loading the motor bikes and supplies on a local canoe in Sikakap to get across the channel to South Pagai. It was another 50km on the motorbike along a dirt track to get to the communities relocated after the 2010 tsunami.

The village of Kinumbuk.

Project Activities

To improve nutritional status through agricultural activities, the following project activities were undertaken:

  • Training on soil assessment/testing
  • Conducting a soil assessment in each of the nine villages to see if the soil is suitable for growing vegetables.
  • Training on soil improvement techniques
  • Creating 'Demonstration Gardens' of best practice - We work to the catch phrase Healthy soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People (Tanah yang Sehat, Makanan Sehat, Orang Sehat)

SurfAid consultant Matt King, from GreenEarth Development, conducts the training on soil assessment, testing and improvement techniques in Kinumbuk, South Pagai.

Mentawai Agricultural Department staff Sumardi, Pak Felix and Tarman assess soil samples from the village of Sabbieret.

Members of the Mentawai Agricultural Department work with SurfAid to build a demonstration garden in Kinumbuk.

What's next for this project?

SurfAid Country Director Anne Wuijts said the next steps will include starting a seed nursery to ensure all families can start a nutrition garden, and setting up demonstration gardens at the local health facility to integrate gardening into the nutrition education for pregnant woman and children.
"Once all these elements are in place, we are confident we will see a positive change in nutrition status for pregnant women and children over the next 12 months," Wuijts said.

Photos by : Matt King / SurfAid


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