The revival of eight nutritional gardens in Hurungwe district financed by the Japanese Embassy through 4-H Zimbabwe has started to bear fruits for the communities.
The non-governmental organisation which signed a partnership with the Japan Embassy in Zimbabwe to establish eight community gardens in Hurungwe West has also helped restore gardens in Midlands and Matebeleland.
The current works by the organisation to revamp gardens in various villages of Hurungwe constituency have seen at least 50 households from each village open a new page of their lives.
Shavereshongwa Village head, Mr Issac Bakasa said the nutritional garden had come at an opportune time as government pushes for consumption of organic foods while at the same time utilise land for financial benefits.
“My village has one of the nutritional gardens that are supported by 4-H Zimbabwe in Ward 25. The garden is supporting 73 households in my village with families putting mostly vegetables, garlic, maize and beans.
“Our Agritex officers are supporting us through the way as they give agronomic advices to the villagers,” he said.
“We are receiving seeds, chemicals and fertilisers to kick-start farming business that we believe will also support the families financially.”
The benefits are also the same for Chirebvu Village in Ward 17 with village head, Mr Peter Masuku who said apart from doing gardening for sustainable livelihoods, the borehole drilled by 4-H Zimbabwe had ended water woes in the area.
“We now have access to clean and safe water. Availability of water has been a challenge to most households but, with the installation of a solar-powered borehole to the community, lives have been embettered,” he said.
He added that the borehole had seen villagers manage to provide their livestock with water, ending the long distances travelled.
Chief Matau from the constituency, told The Herald that Chivakanenyama Dam and many other dams in the area needed to be disilted to imporve water availability.
He lauded the coming in of 4-H Zimbabwe in the area whose works have started to bear fruits for the community.
Tashinga Nutritional Garden chairperson, Ms Suma Suma hailed the program adding women in Ward 16 had been bearing the brunt of travelling long distances to access water, which contributed to their lack of doing gardens.
She is part of the eight women leading the gardens in constituency.
Gogo Furena Marufu, a shop owner at Birimawe Business District along Magunje-Zvipani Road said the revival of the nutritional gardens in the area was meant to improve revenue inflows which was going to add life into their businesses that were currently struggling.
Hurungwe West constituency representative, Mr Ephraim Mwale who interacts with the villagers on daily basis, said the coming in of the boreholes was going to complement effort by the government in changing the lives of the people in line with Vision 2030.
Area Legislator and Mashonaland West Minister of State and Devolution, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka said the support of Japan showed how rich the existing bilateral relation between the Asian country and Zimbabwe were.
She said the boreholes complement President Mnangagwa’s vision of ensuring that 35 000 villages are provided with solar-powered community gardens by 2025.
4-H Zimbabwe Foundation director, Mr John Muchenje said the organisation was targeting all rural districts of Zimbabwe.
The gardens are fully serviced by solar-powered boreholes to enhance climate change resilience innovations and access to clean water for the community. They are also fenced but of interest, the communities have mobilised themselves to build ablution services and guard rooms as they embrace and welcome the nutritional gardens,” he said.
“Our target is to see enhance resilience in all the 55 rural districts in Zimbabwe, we want to see communities having access to clean water and sustainable agriculture in the next five years,” said Mr John Muchenje the 4-H Zimbabwe Director.
The villagers are also benefittting from market-linkages with demand for chilli in Asia and vegetables in Zambia mining sector standing as low hanging fruits.
Japan Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellency Tanaka Satoshi once said his nation will continue to support rural women in Zimbabwe.
By Conrad Mupesa Mashonaland West Bureau