Mwenezi Development Training Centre (MDTC) has been awarded US $600 000 by the United States Agency for International Development, through its Humanitarian Assistance and Resilience (HAR) office, to support vulnerable rural communities in Chiredzi district, Masvingo from August 2022 to July 2023.
MDTC said the funds will be used to address recurrent economic and climatic crises for approximately 5,000 Zimbabweans with the aim to strengthen resilience and enhance food security and nutrition. The projects to be implemented come at a time rural communities in the semi-arid Chiredzi district are experiencing acute food shortages due to climate change-induced drought.
According to MDTC, the funds will be used to support the establishment of poultry housing structures and provide indigenous chickens and solar powered incubators to the beneficiaries. The organisation will also invest in the provision of clean water supplies for both human and animal consumption through the rehabilitation of boreholes.
“The activity will support the establishment of 1,000 low-cost poultry housing structures and provide four solar-powered egg incubators and 10,000 indigenous chicks. The funding support the rehabilitation and maintenance, protection, management and utilization of bush pump boreholes to improve the communities’ access to safe, clean water for crops, livestock, and household use,” said MDTC in a statement.
In addition, MDTC will provide market linkages for farmers with retail outlets, schools, clinics, and distant markets in the towns of Chiredzi and Beitbridge. The farmers will also be trained on indigenous poultry production, housing, feeding, pest and disease control using indigenous knowledge; and provide additional training in marketing, value addition, farming as a business, gender-based violence prevention, and asset maintenance.
Vulnerable people will be prioritised in the implementation of these livelihood activities to enhance their resilience to both climate and economic shocks.
“The activity will target marginalized people (including women, youth, the elderly, and people living with disabilities) by supporting on- and off-farm livelihood opportunities, addressing gender equity and child protection, improving nutrition, and protecting the environment, to reduce their vulnerability to recurrent crises,” said MDTC.
According to a report released by the FEWSNET in March this year, Chiredzi district was likely to slide into IPC4 hunger category by June putting approximately 167 500 people at the risk of food shortages; hunger and starvation, increase in grain prices, migration into neighbouring countries, WASH and Health related challenges.