Nutrition Garden and Fishery Project
Zimbabwe Council of Churches/Christian Care Zimbabwe has a long history of working with marginalized people throughout the country, dating back to 1967. The organization has successfully implemented a variety of humanitarian and community development programs. These programs have assisted in the areas of food security, garden production, water and sanitation, child protection, HIV/AIDS, and more.
The Masvingo Office has been implementing many food security projects for the past 40 years. These have ranged from irrigation development, livestock production, conservation farming, initiating new agricultural projects, and emergency food assistance. In recent years, the church has been adapting their food security projects in response to increasing climate variability. ZCC has been implementing new techniques to boost community capacity to promote resilience. These techniques include conservation farming, fisheries, water harvesting, and livestock production.
In an effort to increase the resilience of communities in the Chiredzi district, ZCCis implementing a new project to diversify the fish and crop production in the region. The region falls under an agro-ecological characterized by low rainfall and high temperatures. Over the past two decades, the frequency and magnitude of climate-induced hazards have increased drastically and small-scale farmers who lack access to advanced water supply and irrigation facilities are affected the most. This, coupled with other challenges such as the burden of HIV/AIDS, economic decline in the country, environmental degradation, and labor shortages as young adults move to larger cities for more opportunity have left the communities struggling with chronic hunger, low incomes, and malnutrition.
The Nutrition Garden and Fishery project will improve access to the water supply system of the Chaitemura community garden in Chiredzi. This will be achieved through purchasing and installing a water pump for more irrigation to the garden. Once the water pump is installed and running, the water will be able to be stored in an overhead tank for use in the fishery projects, as well as the community gardens. As a result, Christian Care Zimbabwe anticipates this better irrigation for farms will increase the production of vegetables, cereal crops, and fish for the region.
The ZCC will offer training sessions on the value of food preservation, operating dehydrators powered by solar energy, and using other methods to increase the life of the foods produced through the project. This project has a strong focus on improving household nutrition. However, in addition to household nutrition, excess dried vegetables can be packaged and sold to large wholesale and retail shops in nearby cities, thereby increasing household incomes for households in the community.
Update: March 2021
The ZCC has implemented many food security projects in the past 40 years. These projects range from irrigation development, livestock production, conservation farming, initiating new agricultural projects, and emergency food assistance. Included here are a few examples on the progress of current nutrition projects taking place and observations from this past year that the ZCC will consider incorporating into the project for the upcoming year.
Watch a video tour of several ZCC nutrition and livelihood projects here.
Project in Goromonzi
At the Chinyika Primary School in Goromonzi, a group at the school started a poultry project with 700 chicks to generate income for the school and provide educational support for students living in challenging situations.
Through the income generated through this project, the school was able to cover the fees of 100 students. The project continues to be an important opportunity for staff development and a new opportunity to generate support for student school fees.
Pundutso Mushroom Project in Goromonzi
The Pundutso Mushroom project was started under the Simukai Rural Residents Trust in 2020 topromote the economic empowerment of women. The project began with great enthusiasm and twenty-four participants from the Chinyika communal lands. The project has encountered some challenges around accesses to water but now includes ten participants who currently source water from about half a kilometer away.
The Layers project has generated income for the ZCC since the summer of 2020. The ZCC Secretariat uses this income to purchase emergency food packs for families along with providing psychosocial support to help families cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The psychosocial support is provided by a trained social worker from the ZCC who visits with families.
Observations and plans for the upcoming year
After thorough evaluations of all projects, the ZCC shares several observations on this project and plans for the upcoming year of this project. These observations include:
- Women are key household economic players during the COVID-era in Zimbabwe. Some women have managed to sustain the project even in very difficult environments.
- The ZCC plans to strengthen its risk management/mitigation support to project participants because the operating environment continues to be unpredictable due to both man-made and natural shocks such as climate change and pandemics.
- The ZCC plans to continue policy advocacy and social cohesion work to ensure that policies work for the poor and that there is a conducive environment for development. The absence of social safety nets for the poor during the COVID-19 era has affected most community projects negatively.
- The ZCC plans to make the training of all project participants in market development, networking, collective marketing, and value chain analysis part of all ZCC development interventions.
Update: June 2022
The Masvingo Office of Christian Care/Zimbabwe Council of Churches has been implementing many food security projects for the past 40 years. These have ranged from irrigation development, livestock production, conservation farming, initiating new agricultural projects, and emergency food assistance. In recent years, the church has been adapting their food security projects in response to increasing climate variability. ZCC has been implementing new techniques to boost community capacity to promote resilience. These techniques include conservation farming, fisheries, water harvesting, and livestock production.
Christian Care, with support from Global Ministries and the Zimbabwe Council of Churches, added fencing materials to the Tapepuka Nutrition Garden in the Masvingo region. This Nutrition Garden supports 52 households (approximately 260 individuals). The new fence will increase the productivity of the garden by protecting it against animals. Community members assisted in constructing the fence. The next improvement to be added to the garden will be a solar powered water pump.
Recently, with support from Global Ministries, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches (ZCC) repaired two boreholes in Masvingo Province. The boreholes received new cylinders, casings, screens, rods, pipes, hand pumps, and new cement surrounding the borehole. These boreholes are located at two schools: Mangondo High School and Mandiki Primary School. Between the two locations, over 2,000 students, teachers, and community members able to use this fresh water for improved nutrition and health.
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- 100% of your gift will be directed to Nutrition Garden and Fishery Project
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