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    Friday, 20 September 2019

    Swiss ambassador visits Chebvute Resilience R4 Rural Reslience Project in Masvingo


    MASVINGO – Thomas Gass, the Swiss Ambassador to Zimbabwe was in Masvingo on Friday last week where he toured the Chebvute R4 Rural Resilience project near Morgenster Mission.
    Chebvute R4 Rural Resilience project is being undertaken by the World Food Programme (WFP) to deal with problems afflicting marginalized villagers as a result of climate change induced droughts. Villagers who benefit from such projects are those who have perennially had to rely on food aid.
    Chebvute is in Tadzembwa Village Ward 17 in Masvingo Rural District Council and it is benefitting 3 050 people. This WFP project is supported by three donor countries namely Switzerland, France and the USA through USAID.
    The project which was initiated in 2017, saw members coming together to build a weir thereby enabling them to harvest water for irrigation projects including gardens and fish ponds. The irrigation and other projects are supported by solar panels that have been installed to pump water from the dam.
    So far there have been immense benefits accruing to the beneficiaries. Some 93 villagers are benefitting from a 1,1 hectare garden where crops like, tomatoes, onions, carrots and sweet potatoes are grown.
    There is also a 0.3 hectare orchard of mangoes, oranges, naartjies and avocados. More than 270 cattle are drinking water from the weir thereby shortening the distance they used to walk to get to water points.
    The other important project is the fish ponds that have been stocked with 12 000 fish and the first harvest was done in November 2018. A further 10 000 fingerlings were also added to the ponds.
    Bridget Hora. who is responsible for the finance of Chebvute told The Mirror that the project has so far this year generated RTGS$11 611 in revenue.
    Ambassador Gass who was accompanied by a strong Swiss delegation was also together with WFP deputy director Niels Balzer. Partner organizations like Old Mutual, SNV, Food Assistance for Asset Creation (FFA) and Aquaculture had representatives on the tour.
    Ambassador Gass toured the gardens, fish ponds and dam walls. The villagers and delegates were addressed by Manuel Thurnhofer; the vice director for Swiss Agency of Development Co-operation addressed the gathering after the tour.
    Thurnhofer said the delegation was impressed by what they saw and added that the villagers are hardworking and dedicated.
    Responding to Thurnhofer’s speech, Mavingei Masapi, a beneficiary expressed her gratitude and that of her colleagues to the Ambassador and other partners. She said that her family had benefitted immensely from the project and added that the project has ameliorated the effects of the current drought and the economic meltdown.
    “We are grateful as a community for the assistance rendered us. This has empowered us as a community. Our diet is now balanced,” she said.
    The resilience programme is being carried out in five other countries in Africa outside Zimbabwe and these are Ethiopia, Senegal, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia.
    In Zimbabwe the aim of the project is to reach 50 000 people by 2021 and the areas targeted are Masvingo and Rushinga District.
    Maronge Tendai 27 also shared her story of how her life has been changed and how she is grateful for the help they have been given.
    The villagers appealed to the Swiss ambassador for more boreholes to be drilled in their village.
    #Masvingo Mirror#
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