The aim of the blog is to discuss ways that makes a rural home habitable and comfortable- evoking those feelings of belonging, security, family and hope…..Home is not a place but a feeling.
Worldwide there is general trend of people migrating from rural areas to towns in search for a better life. Surely most urban areas offer better services and job opportunities than rural set ups.
The discussion will focus on rural Zimbabwe but we hope it will assist you wherever you are
The following generally describes rural homes;
- Lack of piped water- water is drawn from wells (sometimes shallow) or even rivers
- Lack of electricity- although some now have, many homes do not have
- Thatched houses
- No or limited ablution facilities-some households do not have toilets
- Limited income streams- normally annual
So how can you turn your House into a Home
- Food Security
This is the first step and has no substitute. Many have abandoned their Homes in search of food. So how do you ensure you have food-
a. Plan seriously-
The following questions will assist you in planning;
- Which rainfall region are we under?
- What is the rainfall forecast for that given year?
- Which crop am l planting this year and is suitable for the season?
- Can I plant one portion earlier than usual?
- How many are we in the family and how much food do we need in a year and two?
- Do we plan to sale some?
- Do we have enough seed and fertilizers?
Please know the following;
- You can get as high as two tons of maize per acre
- Here are some tips on maize
- Plant immediately following the first effective rainfall. Choose a seed variety that suits the expected rainfall you receive in your area. Use short-season varieties in dry areas, and only choose a long-season type if you are in a very high rainfall area or you have access to irrigation
- Prioritise food crops and not cash crops-many make the mistake of prioritising cash crops like cotton or tobacco thinking they will buy food crops after harvest.
- Maintain a garden to supply vegetables- you do not need a big garden for this. A small one enough for the family will do that you tend easily. Grow tomatoes, onions, covvo,chillis, and even potatoes for the family.
- Also rear animals like chickens, goats for proteins. It may be difficult to raise initial money to buy stock but use other methods like barter trade to buy the animals. After your harvests, find a family you can exchange a crop with the chickens or goats.
2. Make sure you have water for the Home
Most rural areas have water problems- either water is collected from an open source or it is far away from Home.
How to do it-
- Team effort- form a team with neighbours and dig a deep well- remember to cover it to avoid accidents and contamination
- Buy containers to store water at home
- Purify the water by using methods like boiling
- Use water wisely- reserve clean water for drinking and cooking. Use water from ‘not safe’ sources for other uses like the toilet
- Dirty water kills more people than all forms of violence including war.
- Of the estimated 1.1 billion people who walk to collect their water, 64% are women and 12% are children.
- 20 litres per person per day from a source within 1 kilometre of the household is deemed sufficient for adequate drinking and personal hygiene.
- Rural areas lag far behind cities in access to water with more than 653 million people using an unimproved water source or ground water.
- Clean the Home
Always keep the house clean from;
- Crop refuse
- Animal refuse
- Clean the blankets
Even when tired from the field, ensure the home is clean.
Position the cattle pens, pig styles away from the home and down the winds direction
Also take time to fumigate the house to get rid of pests.
- Fire since the roofs are thatched
- Snakes and spiders
- Open wells
- Domestic animals- dogs and bulls
- Poisoning from chemicals
- Fire guards and putting away from reach fire starters like match sticks
- Close all doors and windows during the night
- Take advantage of local vaccination programs and kill errant and violent bulls
- Renovate the houses occasionally
- Store all chemicals in a safe , dry and locked storeroom- bury or destroy used containers
5. Practice hygiene methods of disposing human refuse
Please save money to build a blair toilet. if you can not afford, practice old age method of burying the waste-never practice open disposal. Not good for your Home and family