Your regular gift could help the poorest people survive the floods

For families like Orpita's, a floating garden is a lifeline

“My family and I used to be destitute.”

31 year old Orpita Shagata was born into poverty, and as she had a family of her own, things became harder and harder.

When Practical Action first met Orpita she had no way to feed her children. Every year when the monsoons arrived, the dirty water would leave their land desolated and the family home destroyed.  Thousands of other people all over Bangladesh face the same plight.

The floating garden gives Orpita the perfect place to grow enough food for her family to eat while the little farmland they have is under water. This means that her family will have plenty of fresh vegetables to eat every day of the flood season.

“This has made a great difference to my life. Now I have enough fresh vegetables to feed my family every day.” - Orpita Shagata

How a floating garden works

The floating garden is a clever solution that uses water hyacinth, which is available free locally and is collected to construct a raft. This is then covered with soil and cow dung, in which vegetables can be planted. A new raft needs to be built every year, but the old one can be used as fertiliser during the dry season.

The rafts are eight metres long and one metre wide. Soil is put on the surface of the raft and then the seeds planted in the soil. Summer and winter vegetables such as gourd, okra and leafy vegetables can be grown on it.

The rafts can be moved from place to place so are also suitable for those that have temporarily or permanently lost their homes and land.

What we do

At Practical Action we fight poverty across the developing world using practical, tangible and often innovative solutions - like the zeer pot you can see above.

What's more, we don't believe in imposing quick fixes. So we make sure that all out projects are sustainable, use local materials and are run by local people.

And finally, the money that funds our work overseas goes directly to our offices in that country, rather than through their government. So our supporters know their money is going only where it is needed. And nowhere else.

Other ways to give

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Get involved

There are many ways to take Practical Action and support our work, from sponsored bike rides, walks and runs to online campaigning and social media.

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Where your money goes

For every £1 that you give, 83p goes directly into our operational programmes, 15p is used to generate future revenue so our projects can help even more people, and 2p goes towards statutory management and admin.

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