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Monday, January 30, 2023
HomeNewsClimate Resilience Projects Extricate Guruve Women From Poverty

Climate Resilience Projects Extricate Guruve Women From Poverty

Successive droughts over the years have meant that Alice Muza (52) of  Ward 19 , Kazunga village in Guruve has had to grapple with the burden of feeding her three children and grandchildren.

By Tafadzwa Muranganwa

However, for Muza, the Environment Africa’s (EA) ‘Upscaling Climate Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security Enhancement project” has provided her with a lifeline and no longer is she worried about food in her household.

“Prior to joining the EA project in 2019, I was struggling to feed my three children and three grandchildren but thanks to the initiative we are now having surplus.

“We are being encouraged to grow small grains which can adapt to climate change and are also nutritional,” reveals Muza.

“Even Kwashiorkor which use to be rife among children in our community is no longer troubling us,” added Muza.

According to Environment Africa, its project is supporting 300 farmers and women constituting the highest number of beneficiaries.

“The project is supporting 300 farmers in five wards in Guruve District in conservation farming techniques and post-harvest technologies.

“So far we have managed to improve food security from 27.7 percent before the project to 86.4 percent households having food enough to last them for 10 months or more. Female headed households are more food secure compared to the baseline period when male headed households were more food secure

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“Yield has also increased for example the average number of bags per hectare for maize under conservation farming rose from 22 bags(1100kg) in the baseline period to  117 bags in the 2020/2021 season,” states EA, a leading environmental organisation in Southern Africa.

A widow in Gondo Village, Tarisa Mereki is another beneficiary who has seen her fortunes changing after the intervention of EA.

“When my husband who was the breadwinner died, it became increasingly difficult for me to send my children to school. worse having a decent meal.

“The last three years have been life-changing because of EA, through this project, I have been able to pay fees for my children from the proceeds of selling beans and cowpeas,” Mereki said.

Savings Clubs

To ensure sustainability of these projects, the farmers are being encouraged to set up savings clubs (mikando)  and Rudo Kunatsa from Kazunga Village hailed the initiative as a game-changer.

“One of the notable take aways from the project has been the savings clubs. From our FFS (farmer field school), we contributed a dollar per person monthly.

“Last year, from the contributions we managed to buy kitchen utensils and groceries, ”Kunatsa told this publication.

For the beneficiaries of community gardening at Manungo Village’s solar powered micro-irrigation scheme, the savings club has been instrumental in enabling them to buy inputs.

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“In our scheme, we are 25 and 14 are women. We take subscriptions from every member and this is the money we then use to buy inputs,” explained Febbie Chidukutse ,who is the chairperson of the scheme.

She also said from their contributions, they also plan to increase the capacity of the solar powered irrigation system which currently pumps about 50 000 litres per week.

Post-Harvest Loses Tamed

Most communal farmers suffer from post-harvest losses and the donated maize sheller by Environmental Africa has been handy to women who formerly shelled their maize manually.

“I would like to commend EA for giving us the maize Sheller which has made what was arguably the most arduous work for us women much easier and minimize post-harvest losses,” lauded Felistas Chiwaru.

Social Cohesion

The Environment Africa Evaluation and Monitoring officer Laura Mlambo spoke on how her organisation is bringing social cohesion among the women through its climate resilience projects.

“The other thrust of the interventions we have done so far is mainstreaming women into farming. These women often meet once a week at the FFS and this brings social cohesion which is critical for development,” alluded Mlambo.

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