Soweto, located in South Africa's Gauteng province, is one of the country's most populous townships with an estimated population of 1.3 million people. While the township has made significant progress since the end of apartheid, many socio-economic challenges still persist, particularly among young people. Youth unemployment, food insecurity, child-headed households, and community safety are some of the challenges that Soweto faces.
One company that is taking action to address these challenges is Xylem, a leading global water technology company. Xylem has partnered with the Soweto Garden Network project to create an urban agriculture food production program that aims to reduce the dependence of three schools in the area on municipal water mains and establish a comprehensive tool bank for the schools and the surrounding community.
The partnership with Nectar Farms provides training and capacity-building programs for learners and young people in the surrounding community, aiming to further strengthen the impact of the project and empower local youth with the skills needed for a sustainable future.
The Soweto Garden Network project is crucial in addressing some of the socio-economic challenges facing Soweto and its youth. By providing a source of nutritious food for families and economic opportunities for local residents, urban garden networks can promote food security and economic growth in underserved communities.
The partnership between Xylem and Nectar Farms recognizes the linkage between water security and food security, which is crucial in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) - ensuring access to water and sanitation for all. The establishment of sustainable water solutions in underserved communities, such as the Soweto Garden Network project, is essential to achieving SDG 6.
Moreover, the partnership between Xylem and the Soweto Garden Network project serves as an inspiring example of how private sector companies can contribute to achieving the SDGs by addressing critical issues such as water security and food security in underserved communities.
This project partnership represents a significant step forward in creating sustainable solutions for Soweto's socio-economic challenges. By investing in initiatives that support young people's education, training, and employment prospects, and addressing the root causes of food insecurity, child-headed households, and community safety, we can create a brighter future for the Soweto community and a model for scaling across the continent.