Politics

Hungry Gaza finds sustenance in urban gardening (PHOTOS)

Abu Ahmed pulls lettuce from his rooftop aquaponic farm in the Daraj area of Gaza City. He uses this small, urban space to grow tomatoes, parsley, red cabbage and onions, all of which feed his family. He belongs to a long generation of farmers who tilled the land in a village now located in present-day Israel.
Credit: Rebecca Collard

Urban aquaponic farms have the potential to curb food insecurity in the Gaza Strip, experts say. 

  • The buffer zone along the wall that separates the Gaza Strip from Israel. Israeli troops enforce the zone with live fire to thwart militant attacks, but much of Gaza's farmland is in this area along the border.
    Credit: Rebecca Collard
  • Abu Ahmed pulls lettuce from his rooftop aquaponic farm in the Daraj area of Gaza City. He uses this small, urban space to grow tomatoes, parsley, red cabbage and onions, all of which feed his family. He belongs to a long generation of farmers who tilled the land in a village now located in present-day Israel.
    Credit: Rebecca Collard
  • A fish farmer in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip scoops Red Tilapia fingerlings (baby fish) from a pool at his fish hatchery, and which provides fingerlings to most of Gaza's urban farms. There, the fish pools provide the nutrient-rich water that help both save scarce water resources and produce high-quality protein for the urban crops without chemical fertilizers or pesticides.
    Credit: Rebecca Collard
  • Iyad Deeb Al-Attar feeds fish in outdoor pool at his fish hatchery in Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip in March 2011. Al-Attar raises six species of fingerlings (baby fish) which he sells to a dozen Gaza fish farms. Gaza is cut off from much of its farmland and also its coastline, hemmed in by an Israeli blockade.
    Credit: Rebecca Collard
  • Abu Mahmoud pulls onions from his urban farm in the Zeitoun area east of Gaza City. For years, he worked in construction in Israel, but during the Second Intifada, he and thousands of Gazans lost their jobs when Israel shut the border. Now, he produces enough onions, sweet fennel, beans, tomatoes and other vegetables to feed the 11 members of his family.
    Credit: Rebecca Collard
  • A man in Gaza City tends to chickens who produce eggs for him and his family. The Cooperative Housing Foundation, a US non-profit, provide Gazan families with chickens or rabbits to help them produce their own protein source at home. The United Nations says more than half of Gaza's 1.7 million people are food insecure.
    Credit: Rebecca Collard
  • Abu Ahmed's rooftop garden in the Daraj area of Gaza City. An Israeli-imposed buffer zone eats up much of the territory's farmland, but the urban population is growing. At least half of Gaza's 1.7 million people are food insecure, according to the United Nations.
    Credit: Rebecca Collard
  • Abu Mahmoud, his wife and son are receiving urban farming assistance from the Cooperative Housing Foundation (CHF), a US organization that provides food aid and housing assistance to Gazans. Rows of organic sweet fennel, beans and tomatoes fill the space the family once used as a garbage dump in the Zeitoun neighborhood east of Gaza City.
    Credit: Rebecca Collard
  • Abu Ahmed's rooftop garden in the Daraj area of Gaza City. With no land to farm, and only sporadic employment, Abu Ahmed had been struggling to feed his family. But now, he uses his roof to grow tomatoes, parsley, red cabbage and onions, all of which feed his family and creates a lush green space overlooking the otherwise drab cityscape.
    Credit: Rebecca Collard

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