«End of Project Narrative Report (01 August 2011 – 31 July 2012) “You can either fail as individuals or work together and develop as a ...»
Chikato Orphans & Women’s Economic and Social Safety Project
Funded by Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
(Activity Number 22671 / PKP 11 – 05 – ODA) Grant Amount: €25,000
End of Project Narrative Report (01 August 2011 – 31 July 2012)
“You can either fail as individuals or work together and develop as a community.”
- Leon Hartwell –
Responding to grassroots community needs through innovative ideas
1. Operational Environment The physical, socio – cultural, economic and political environment was generally conducive for the project to be fully implemented. Being located in the semi – arid Natural Region 3, the Chikato community is under the threat of drought induced by low and erratic rainfall leading to hunger, water problems, income challenges and environmental degradation. The erosion of household economic assets during the previous economic crisis period was also a critical factor that was considered in targeting the primary beneficiaries of the project interventions. Most households have no disposable income and economic assets to help them initiate their self reliance income generating activities. The local authorities and political environment remained calm and conducive for the project implementation. This can be largely attributed to the fact that the project was needy driven and remained relevant to the development cooperation between the government of Zimbabwe, local communities and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
2. Situation before the Project The Mutsiba, Pandehuni and Mashiri villages covered by project interventions were facing critical water problems that heightened income, food security, community health, environmental and social safety challenges. Women and children who constitute more than three quarters of the population of the area were highly vulnerable to socio – economic shock including inflation, drought induced food insecurity and poverty. The Chikato community in general lead a natural resources based livelihoods, hence the lack of access to clean and adequate water for both vegetable production and domestic purposes was the major drawback for local development. The following pictures show the unprotected source of water and the unproductive vegetable garden used to sustain Mutsiba village households.
Mrs. Chigudu’s garden without water source. Unprotected water source used by Mutsiba Village.
2 Responding to grassroots community needs through innovative ideas
3. Preparatory Activities Preparatory meetings were held to facilitate the smooth and effective coordinated implementation of the Chikato Orphans and Women’s Social Safety Project. Adistrict stakeholder orientation meeting was conducted after the Shurugwi Partners and the Kingdom of the Netherlands signed the grant contract. The Social Services Department took the lead to introduce Shurugwi Partners to other key stakeholders including the District Administrator, Public Services Departments and Ministry of Health and Child Welfare. A date was set for introducing and welcoming Shurugwi Partners to the District Child Protection Committee. After rolling out the Chikato project to the District Child Protection Committee, the stakeholders appreciated the important role played by both the Royal Netherlands Embassy and Shurugwi Partners in the partnership aimed to end rural poverty among the most vulnerable groups of the community. Shurugwi Partners was also requested to assist the Social Services Department to complete the OVC village registers for the ward 7. The organization also agreed to team up with the local ward structures to initiate the Ward 7 Child Protection Committee as a complementary effort to the District Child Protection Committee.
A community orientation and project rollout session was conducted. The members of the community who were present include the Ward Development Committee chaired by the ward Councillor, the traditional leaders including the Chief’s representative, the village heads and all the villagers from the Chikato catchment area were represented. The project beneficiaries from Pandehuni, Mutsiba village 1 & 2 and Mashiri village were also present.
The project beneficiaries expressed their happiness and appreciation to the Royal Netherlands Embassy for approving their project. In his speech, the project Mobilizer Mr.
Clever Mawire highlighted that the targeted villages are some of the marginalized and underdeveloped communities that were the recipients of food hand outs as a result of hunger and poverty. The development assistance that mainly targets women and children was also rated as a giant step towards protecting the vulnerable groups through economic empowerment and self reliance acclivities.
3.1 Provision of Resources
Shurugwi Partners worked with the drafted project action plan to allocate resources to different activities as required in different times. Among the most critical resources that were made available to the community was the borehole water development, fencing and garden seeds to kick start vegetable production and provision of clean and adequate water
4. Progress against targets
4.1 Community garden development The traditional leaders including the Village Head officially handed over the area that was identified for the project in the previous years. The hand over was done to the garden project committee that was already in place. Land clearance, pegging and fencing was done after the water survey and borehole water development was carried out as on the slides.
Women captured during land clearance. Fencing of the garden during September 2011 Through the community’s collective efforts, land tillage was done using some individual households’ draught-power and equipments. There was a clear division of labour at this stage. The healthy and fit members of the project were involved in levelling the ground and
Various vegetable crops were planted with the assistance of hybrid seeds purchased using the grant allocation. The butternut was the first crop planted followed by English Giant rape and rodade tomatoes. This was the first crop selection which was based on the appropriate cropping calendar that was agreed upon through community based planning approaches.
The following pictures show the vegetable crops grown.
Butternuts before harvesting. Butternuts after harvesting and ready for market.
The whole project was selling rape worth US$95 per week over the period of 4 months between October 2011 and January 2012. This brought a positive change and an improvement in the income and food security of the orphans, vulnerable children, women and the people living with HIV/AIDS targeted by the project.
An average of US$135 was generated per household from tomatoes sale between January and March 2012. Different stages of the tomato crop grown in the Mutsiba garden are shown in the pictures below.
Crops including butternuts, rape and tomatoes helped to generate sustainable income for the beneficiaries who were failing to raise US$1 for paying the cost of grinding cereals to form mealie-meal before the start of the project.
Currently, the farmers selected the third crops that coincide with the appropriate cropping calendar as well as their dietary and income needs. After harvesting the second butternut
Onion and peas are very important crops that can survive from extremely low temperatures that affect the areas. This helps to balance both the nutritional requirements and income needs of beneficiaries targeted. The following pictures show onions and peas in the garden.
King onion near maturity stage. Mulched: Peas at early germination stages The following chart illustrates the cropping calendar and the varieties of vegetables grown in the community garden.
4.2 Improving water and sanitation One new borehole in Mutsiba village was developed by the project to provide clean and adequate domestic and irrigation water for households that were relying on unprotected water sources from shallow wells and Tugwane River. Some of the community members were travelling for more than 2 kilometres to the shopping areas to fetch water at the borehole developed in the early 1990s. Currently, the new borehole is saving three villages with a daily average of 65 households fetching at least 40 litres of water for domestic purposes. The development of the borehole water unlocked agricultural development and income generation. Besides fulfilling domestic water requirements, project borehole is also providing a total of 9,600 litres of water for Mutsiba garden irrigation per week. There is more pressure on the new borehole since the area has few developed water points. The construction of a 2,400 litres capacity water trough answered water management and sustainability issues within the project. The following slides show water development.
Water development for irrigation Domestic water requirements fulfilled.
8 Responding to grassroots community needs through innovative ideas
4.3 Small livestock provision The provision of indigenous chickens and goats to people living with HIV/AIDS, households with vulnerable children and orphans and those led by women provided the means for economic development and social safety nets against shocks. There was a recorded increase in the number of women controlling economic assets for livelihoods in the project area. The smalllivestock component assisted 100 households with 2 goats and 2 chicken received for breeding and pass on. The project distributes 200 indiginous chickens and 178 goats to the beneficiaries targeted. The following pictures show the distribution of indigenous chickens and goats in Mutsiba village.
Women and children receiving indigenous poultry. Beneficiaries receiving goats.
4.4 Skills Development in Small livestock and vegetable production 4.4.1 Small Livestock training activities Shurugwi Partners in partnership with AGRITEX cascaded various training activities. The Housing, Care and Feeding of small livestock was the first training that empowered the beneficiaries with various skills in shelter construction to prevent the attach of animals by diseases. Diseases and Pest control and Breeding Management training sessions were conducted latter to enable the farmers to be aware of the common diseases and pests that can negatively impact their livestock production. From the training activities, a community led Small livestock Committee was formed by the beneficiaries to enable effective implementation of the project. A team responsible for vaccinating the goats and chickens in times of diseases was set up. The provision of these committees was welcomed by most stakeholders since it is one of the strategies to ensure local communities have full control and management of their own development project. The following housing types were the outputs from the training activity.
9 Responding to grassroots community needs through innovative ideas Brick and thatched goat housing Raised from ground poles and thatched goat housing 4.4.2 General Project Management training activities The workshop was attended by all the garden beneficiaries from Mutsiba village. The major objective was to equip the garden project management committee with skills and strategies for garden and other projects management. The roles, qualities and responsibilities of committee members were discussed during the constitution drafting process. Other issues covered include the crops and cropping calendars, leadership types, selection of sub committees including the infrastructure maintenance and marketing committees. Issues including pesticide use, precautions and regulations, full ownership of the garden project by the community and disputes and their resolutions were also discussed.
4.4.3 Vegetable Production and Marketing Training Activities Other training activities conducted were soil and water conservation and market linkages that played a critical role in the rehabilitation of the eroded area of the garden and linking produce to markets respectively. The following pictures illustrate the farmers during the process of rehabilitation of eroded area.
Beneficiaries rehabilitating the land. F.O. and the Chairperson in rehabilitation process
Butternuts from the garden being sold in local shop. Recorded transaction of US$80.00 in one day Shurugwi Partners also cascaded the crop produce management, lead farmers, commodity association and the garden income management training activities which were also instrumental in enabling the beneficiaries to make independent and informed decision in vegetable production and income management. The slides below capture the training and excitement with community members in developing current skills in project management.
Topic of the day displayed on the board. Singing and dancing motivates them.
11 Responding to grassroots community needs through innovative ideas
4.5 Internal Savings and Lending A gap in rural financial services was identified as one of the major factors deepening the impact of poverty in the Chikato area. The project trained the Internal Savings and Lending (ISAL) methodology for encouraging the development of self reliance projects through saving income from vegetable sales. Every month, different groups of savings club members with a total enrolment of 90 households’ representatives mainly dominated by project beneficiaries save their money in a group fund. One or more members access the loan from the group savings at a very small interest rate depending on the size of the group fund.