Certainly, it might not be a wonder to see various fruits and vegetables grow amid the rugged terrain of the Sultanate of Oman but such initiatives, to convert the mountains into vast vegetation, are quite less.
Notwithstanding the fact that there have been many such initiatives around, a global community with strong, proactive presence in Oman is making headway supporting national initiatives in converting the arid mountainous region into a green haven.
The Dawoodi Bohra community in Oman has initiated a ‘Green Project’ by planting saplings in and around their community centre in Darsait, in commemoration of World Environment Day which falls on June 5 every year.
The community has set up a vegetable garden aiming at adopting a more sustainable approach to their food requirements.
This programme is part of the Dawood Bohras’ global Project Rise initiative, which works in partnership with local authorities and organisations to preserve and protect the environment, fight against hunger and malnutrition around the world, provide access to education and undertake health and hygiene programmes.
“Our Project ‘Rise’ initiative is an earnest attempt to keep pace with the global development challenges, ranging from hunger and poverty to climate crisis and education, which cannot be addressed in isolation. Collective and collaborative efforts, however smaller in nature, are required to ensure improved socio-economic conditions for children and families the world over,” said a spokesperson from the Bohra community in Muscat.
With this objective in mind, saplings of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and flowers, besides dates, lemon, pomegranate, drumstick, papaya, tomato, eggplant, lady fingers, potato, chilli, radish, carrot, lettuce, beans, cabbage, basil, mint, coriander, ornamental flowers including bougainvillea are planted as part of the first phase of the programme.
“Natural compost fertilisers will be used and the fruits and vegetables grown in this garden will be used in the preparation of food supplied to community members and public. We aim to recycle and reuse green wastes generated from the kitchen and elsewhere.”
“Furthermore we are will instill awareness on benefits of gardening and plantation, and to set a platform for those who want to learn farming” the spokesperson said.
An array of activities as part of the Phase 1 is currently being carried out starting today. Soil improvement, removal of infertile soil and weeds, preparing sweet soil and mixing manure, preparing fertilisers are happening side by side while landscaping, fencing around the plot, raising the beds, trellis and supports, walkways, irrigation tank and watering setup, plantation, seeds and saplings, watering and setting up compost pits, and logistics to collect green waste from kitchen are currently being organised.
Efforts are on to channel waste water from the community kitchen to make it reusable for plantation. Additionally, waste water recycling, and grey water reusing are currently in planning as part of the phase 3,which would commence later this year.