By Steve Ephraem
COMMUNITIES in the South East Lowveld of Zimbabwe which surround wildlife protected areas are set to benefit from a US$19 million facility which is funded by USAID.
Dubbed Resilience through Accelerating New Community-based Holistic Outcomes for Resources Sustainability (ANCHORS), the project seeks to reduce communities’ chronic vulnerability to climatic shocks and economic stresses.
The initiative runs from 2020 to 2025 and is expected to provide economic opportunities for vulnerable communities to improve their liability to cope with and recover from shocks while conserving the natural resource base for sustainable livelihoods.
In Chipinge, the project has been launched in rural ward 29 (Maparadze) and ward 30 (Mahenye). In Bikita, ANCHORS shall be done in ward 24-26 (Devure) and in Chiredzi ward 1 (Gudo) and ward 23 (Nyangambe).
Resilience ANCHORS was in Chipinge on 14 and 15 September 2021 where it held inception meetings at Goldfields in Chipinge town and at Jamanda Conservancy at Mahenye in Chipinge South.
Outlining what the project seeks to achieve, the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning officer for Resilience ANCHORS, Mr Dereck Moyo indicated that communities are set to sustain themselves using natural resources.
“ANCHORS would like to improve economic benefits from strengthened community-level resources governance and oversight of conservation of conservation enterprises.
“The project seeks to increase sustainable supplies of water of sufficient quantity and quality to meet human, economic and ecosystem needs. It also seeks to strengthen locally-led development and private sector engagement,” said Mr Moyo.
Addressing stakeholders at Mahenye, the Chief of Party for USAID Resilience ANCHORS, Dr Cary Farley, assured everyone that the project would give economic benefit to the Lowveld communities.
“Every district has its strengths and weaknesses. We cannot produce maize in every district since some of them are have climatic conditions not suitable for maize farming. The wisest approach is to utilise resources that are available in our area.
“The available resource in the South East Lowveld of Zimbabwe is wildlife. How can we make the best out of these resources? What can we do to reap economic benefits from utilising this resources? That is possible if we continue working together,” said Farley.
Chief Mahenye (Thomas Chauke) thanked the USAID for bringing the initiative to his people.
District Development Coordinator for Chipinge William Mashava, Chipinge Rural district Council Chief Executive Officer Blessing Mamvosha and Resilience ANCHORS deputy Chief of Party Cryton Zazu also attended the inception meetings.