The Zimbabwe Coalition for Debt and Development (Zimcodd) has recently launched a commendable long-term project in Gokwe, aimed at combatting climate change through tree farming and poverty alleviation. In collaboration with the Clean Waters club and the Forest Commission, Zimcodd is training local communities, empowering them to address the urgent issue of climate change while also promising to eradicate poverty and unemployment.
The initiative has already formed two groups in Gokwe, providing comprehensive training to community members from diverse backgrounds. Led by experts in the field, such as the Clean Waters club, the trainees have gained vital knowledge about the significance of trees in business and their role in combating climate change. The Forest Commission focused on teaching the trainees how to plant trees, proper spacing, and necessary care. Moreover, Veterinary and Agritex imparted knowledge about the importance of trees in animal husbandry, while the Environmental Management Agency provided valuable insights into environmental conservation.
The first group, consisting of approximately 190 participants, received training at Manyoni Primary School in Ward 18. The second group, composed of 195 trainees, underwent training at Mutimutema. Overall, the initiative has successfully trained 386 individuals. The importance of sustainable practices and the need for immediate action to mitigate the effects of climate change were heavily emphasized throughout the training sessions. Participants were educated on various topics, ranging from climate change knowledge to practical skills required to combat its adverse effects. Additionally, they had the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities, including tree planting and waste management initiatives.
Tendai Masora, the Zimcodd Social Economic Justice Activist, highlighted the lack of knowledge among the local community regarding the impact of climate change. “Our main aim is to disseminate information on sustainable agriculture and tree planting to others. Many people in the community have limited knowledge of climate change, which adversely affects their agricultural yields,” Masora remarked.
The Zimcodd initiative is not only empowering local communities but also playing a significant role in raising environmental awareness and promoting sustainable practices. Through their efforts, Zimcodd aims to create a lasting impact in Gokwe and inspire others to actively participate in combating climate change.
“The main objective of the training was to educate participants on tree planting techniques, including tree budding and grafting. This was necessary because there is a significant issue of deforestation in the area, and many residents lack the knowledge of how to properly plant trees. To address this, we have shifted our focus from traditional tree species to exotic ones. While indigenous trees are often cut down for firewood, the cultivation of exotic trees can provide numerous benefits to the nation, such as a sustainable fruit supply, improved climate conditions, and a healthier environment,” stated Masora, the trainer.
Masora emphasized the importance of making tree planting a lifelong daily activity. Their goal is to establish 156 orchards, complete with security fences, across eight different wards, including schools. In addition, they aim to graft and bud 2500 trees each month, along with creating sixteen more nutritional gardens.
During an interview with our reporter, Clemency Mhoya, the Director of the Clean Waters club, expressed gratitude for the collaboration between their organization and Zimcodd tree farming and the poverty-cure climate change initiative. He acknowledged that this partnership has been instrumental in advancing their shared mission of combating climate change. Mhoya also emphasized the significance of these training programs in recruiting a greater number of individuals nationwide, ultimately contributing to the restoration of our country’s climate and rainfall patterns.
“We are incredibly thankful to Zimcodd for their invaluable program. Initially, we lacked the necessary resources and opportunities to train a large number of people on climate change issues simultaneously. However, through these trainings, we now have better chances of reaching a wider audience. Additionally, we appreciate the focus on tree planting initiatives, and we are committed to doing everything within our power to ensure the continuation of these training programs,” Mhoya stated.
Mhoya elaborated on the Clean Waters club’s primary target, which is to emphasize agroforestry as a practical subject to young children in schools, as there is a saying that goes, “catch them young.” By instilling a sense of environmental responsibility early on, they hope to foster a culture of sustainable practices throughout the nation.
The training was conducted by Clemency Mhoya, the director of the Clean Waters club in Gokwe, and Otllia Gwenhure from Agritex. They successfully taught hundreds of people in the Midlands Zimbabwe communities about the importance of planting African winter trees, both fruit-bearing and non-fruit-bearing, to combat climate change. This climate change
The Zimcodd Tree Farming and Povertycure Climate Change initiative has not only equipped individuals with the necessary tools to combat climate change but has also fostered a strong sense of community and collaboration among participants. This network of like-minded individuals will continue to support and learn from each other, ensuring the long-term sustainability and effectiveness of their initiatives.
In an increasingly climate-affected world, projects like the Zimcodd tree farming and Povertycure Climate Change project in Gokwe play a crucial role in raising awareness, building capacity, and promoting sustainable practices within communities. The remarkable success achieved by the participants is a testament to the power of collective action and underscores the potential for positive change when individuals are empowered with knowledge and tools to address global challenges.
“We have seen the impact of our training programs as individuals who have completed the 5-day course have received certificates, empowering them to influence others in tree growing projects. This not only supports the fight against climate change but also aids in the reduction of river siltation,” explained Masora.
The importance of tree planting, inspired by projects led by First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa, cannot be understated. The aim is for all seeds to be ready in packets by November, in preparation for the national tree planting day on 1 December, as gazetted by the President.
Gracia Mashingaidze from Zimcodd expressed gratitude for the vital support they receive from ALFA and the government. This support enables them to sustain their workshops and continue training others until everyone has the necessary knowledge to contribute to combating climate change.
“We would like to extend our sincere thanks to ALFA, who generously provided us with a cow that we used for our program. We also appreciate the strong support of Honorable MP Mavhima and his wife, who have assisted us in feeding workshop participants and representing our programs in the government. We are grateful for the representation of all our issues as the Gokwe Zimcodd tree farming and Povertycure climate change group,” said Mashingaidze.
The dedication and collaboration of all involved are truly inspiring, as they work together to address the pressing issue of climate change and create a sustainable and resilient future for the community of Gokwe.