This project falls under the EC’s Zimbabwe Annual Action Plan (AAP)2009 Accompanying Measures for Sugar Protocol Countries. The EC Delegations technical team approached Care Zimbabwe in early 2010 based on the in-country reputation for effective conservation practices. CARE’s Agriculture and Natural Resrouces team were asked to develop a proposal for environmental management to improve soil and water conservation in the Runde River catchment – this would contribute to the larger AAP objective to improve sugar cane production which used to be a big employer in the area and is negatively impacted by the silting up of the water due to poor soil and water conservation practices.
CARE aims to enhance integrated soil-water conservation and livestock management in 29 wards of Masvingo Province helping to reduce soil erosion in the Runde River catchment area. As an important economic center for the Province, the Runde catchment area is home to the largest sugar producing industry in the country. The project is employing a community-based participatory approach, where community members themselves are fully engaged in all aspects of the project ensuring that the changes in conservation practices last long after CARE’s work is finished.
CARE believes that improved conservation practices are best sustained when they come hand-in-hand with positive, environmentally-friendly improvements in community livelihoods. As a result CARE’s approach is supporting the establishment of long-term community management structures and conservation by-laws; improved knowledge on soil-water conservation through training, skill-building and adoption of conservation practices; and the rehabilitation of productive community assets that are conservation-friendly while contributing to household food and income needs. As an example, CARE is supporting smallholder farmers to adopt conservation agriculture practices in gardens and for dry land cereal and legume crops, reducing erosion and contributing to household food needs.
Result 1: Dissemination of conservation by-laws and promotion of enforcing mechanisms
Result 2: Strengthening of community-based environmental management structures including formation
and strengthening of local committees for dams and irrigation, natural resource and watershed
management, soil and water conservation, anmd conservation farming clusters.
Result 3: Soil erosion processes reduced through soil and water conservation and livestock management
Practices including reclaiming gullies and infiltration ditches (contours), rehabilitating dams and catchment
areas, training households in conservation farming practices including composting , establishing irrigation
schemes, establishing and rehabilitating livestock water sources and dip tanks for parasite management