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Friday, March 31, 2023

Mbire communities positioned to deal with drought

By Tapiwa Machemedze

AT least 18 000 families in Mbire district have been equipped with climate change mitigation skills through the highly recommended Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF).

A 17-member Pepukai Group which started off with as an internal savings and lending group has diversified to goat and cattle rearing, while a grinding mill is also now in place, after undergoing training through the Zimbabwe Resilience Building fund (ZRBF).

“We started with goats and some told us to invest in a bush mill so that we could be able to grind our crop stocks and mix with concentrate to feed our cows and goats so we would not waste anything. We are getting some money from our bush mill, I use the money to send my kids to school. We also look after an orphan and an elderly person from the community,” said Patson Mataya, a beneficiary of the programme.

In the Mbire district, the Zambezi Valley Alliance equipped households with skills for them to be better positioned to mitigate drought and other shocks.  

“We are looking at close to 18 000 households that we managed to reach out to, around 60 per cent of them we imparted with more than one critical intervention, so basically we wanted to ensure that we reach out with a crop as well as livestock related intervention to each every household given the landscape of this district. To ensure that one critical thing that we were looking at, was making sure they are part of a group because the of social capital and benefits that then accrue to one if they are in a group,” explained Mr Eben Tombo, Zambezi Valley Alliance team leader.

European Union countries have been key in funding the five-year programme and diplomats toured projects in Mbire to assess progress.  

“We have taken a habit of going around the country to see what we are doing individually as donors as well as what we are trying to do in terms of programs that are funded jointly, so being in Mbire today is first to see what our ZRBF programme has been doing, this is a major program funded by the EU, Sweden and UK so the current phase is coming to an end and we are trying to see how to design the next phase together with the Ministry of Agriculture,” said Swedish Embassy Deputy Head of Mission, Mr Berthollet Kaboru.

The ZRBF was spread across 18 districts nationwide and discussions are in progress to extend the high-impact programme for a second phase.

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