Hydroponic Greenhouse at the CSSL Women’s Center in Beit Hanoun, Gaza

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Anera recently built a hydroponic greenhouse to take advantage of the open space on the rooftop of the Cooperative Society for Saving and Lending (CSSL) women’s center in Gaza. They are now growing organic produce like lettuce, cucumbers, green peppers, leafy greens and herbs like mint. The hydroponic system allows them to grow food using less water than required by traditional cultivation methods. The hydroponic techniques also avoid the need for pesticides and the pollutants often present in the soil in Gaza.

The women operate cooperatives providing catered food to customers and preschoolers. This fresh produce will form the main ingredients in healthy meals the women will prepare in the space’s kitchen for the local community.

The rooftop hydroponic greenhouse, installed by Anera, at the CSSL building in Beit Hanoun, Gaza.
Zen!
Checking the hydroponic garden water’s pH on the roof of the CSSL building in Beit Hanoun, Gaza.

How Is Hydroponic Farming Sustainable in Gaza?

Since no soil is needed, hydroponic gardens can be built on rooftops and other non-arable areas. They can be used in very small areas like an apartment balcony or basement, as well as in greenhouses and home gardens. They can also be scaled up to the size of industrial farms.

Seedlings growing on top of the CSSL building in Beit Hanoun.

An advantage of hydroponics of particular importance in Gaza is that water can be purified at a lower cost than soil. This is useful because much of the soil in Gaza is polluted with heavy minerals or is so high in salinity that few crops can grow.

Another crucial benefit of hydroponics is the lower water needs of the technique. In a region like Gaza where clean water is very scarce, conserving water is all-important. Hydroponic systems require only 10-20 percent of the water needed in traditional systems.

A baby cucumber, grown in the CSSL’s hydroponic greenhouse.
Washing cucumbers at the CSSL women’s center in Beit Hanoun, Gaza to make healthy lunches for nearby preschoolers.
Women at the CSSL center in Beit Hanoun, Gaza cut up leafy greens for local preschoolers' lunches.
Women at the CSSL center in Beit Hanoun, Gaza cut up leafy greens, grown in their hydroponic greenhouse, for local preschoolers’ lunches.
Fresh bananas in the kitchen of the CSSL women's center in Beit Hanoun, Gaza.
Fresh bananas in the kitchen of the CSSL women’s center in Beit Hanoun, Gaza.
A Palestinian woman measures out the edges of a sewing pattern she is designing as part of a sewing course provided by Anera at the CSSL center in Beit Hanoun, Gaza.
A Palestinian woman measures out the edges of a sewing pattern she is designing as part of a sewing course provided by Anera at the CSSL center in Beit Hanoun, Gaza.
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