By LIVETT MYRNE COMFORT
Isles Media Freelance Reporter in Gizo
GIZO RESIDENTS need to realize the importance of organic waste and use it to grow their own food crops rather than dumping it at the town’s dumpsite.
Environmental Health inspector, Merilyn Vana and Custom garden Coordinator, Michael Derald highlighted during an interview recently that as communities facing economic challenges posed by COVID, growing their own food such as vegetables at home using organic wastes on soil is a way of improving food security, as well as reducing wastes at the dumpsite.
“Last year we do a waste audit to see what the compactor and other trucks are dumping at the dumpsite.” Ms Vana said.
“We categorized organic waste and inorganic waste and found out that most of the wastes at Gizo dumpsite are organic.
‘There is wealth in Waste, P\people in Gizo need to realize that there’s wealth in organic waste and that it‘s not waste at all.
“So rather throwing it away use organic waste to create compost for supsup gardens like growing cabbage and vegetables for consumption and sell as well.” she said.
She pointed out that, Gizo’s dumpsite is very close to the public road, so utilizing organic wastes from homes, is the best way of lessening the amount of rubbish there.
Coordinator for custom garden based in Gizo Michael Derald said, organic waste is a wealth that people ignored, which is easy to use for their benefit, especially on food security.
“People here in Gizo treat all waste as useless waste and so they throw their wealth away,” He pointed out
He stressed, that during such time as this when communities facing livelihood challenges posed by covid, people need to boost the level of food security for their families and communities. And that a better way of increasing food security is utilizing organic waste to improve soil nutrition.
“Importance of maintaining organic material in your soil in subsistence agriculture or gardening. And important of segregating waste instead of treating all waste as general waste.
“At Gizo people are not utilizing organic waste, they totally ignore it, he said. Form the kitchen they just throw it away.” He said.
“The soil at Gizo after rain stops water is quick to escape into the earth or evaporate very fast, the only way to improve water holding capacity is to add organic matter.” He added. “We need to improve soil nutrition and water holding capacity.” And in order to increase the property of the soil to hold water.
“That’s what we custom garden trying to do here in Gizo and other parts of the province to help people in terms of improving food security during the covid pandemic,
“We are trying introduce organic farming to local farmers, he said. We must do away with the slash and burn which is a big issue to address here.”
Derald is doing demonstration with women farmers from Paeloge west Gizo, as well as covering Shortlands, Kolobangara and Lokuru in the Western Solomons.