Villagers join forces to improve their livelihoods

Villagers from headman Magwenzi’s area near Chivi Growth Point are continuing their co-operative venture to preserve the wetlands and create income.

The greenbelt has long been a source of livelihood, and agro-based projects include vegetable gardens, a banana plantation and beekeeping.

The projects provide food and money through initiatives such as selling fruit and vegetables to the nearby high school.

Magwenzi said 100 people came together in 1999 to try to save the area after realising that the eight-hectare wetlands were under threat from lack of care and poor management.

They approached Zvishavane Water Project, which helped them raise $32,000 from the United Nations Development Program to fence the areas and start income-generating projects.

“Since we started this project a lot of our community members have benefited from it. We have established vegetable gardens and even our own local mission school has benefited in terms of water supplies,” Magwenzi said.

The wetlands are now home to four vegetable gardens and a water reservoir.

The group says it is trying to revive the banana project, and is calling on the government to drill boreholes in this area.

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