The Methodist Church in Zimbabwe has taken strides to avert starvation and curb diseases outbreaks in drought-prone Gokwe South by establishing livelihood projects through a relief agency.
BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
The church has set up various farming projects aimed at generating income for the locals as well as increase food.
The projects include poultry, piggery and fishery, and the initiative has since mid-last year provided income to hundreds of “jobless” youths in the rural area.
Speaking during the launch of the initiative in Gwehava recently, Gokwe South Methodist Development and Relief Agency (MeDRA) national director Clever Tabaziba said the project was aimed at averting hunger and improving livelihoods in the area.
He said the church would continue rolling out the programme in other villages in Gokwe and drought-prone areas in the country.
Tabaziba said funds permitting, the church would launch a similar programme in parts of Matabeleland.
The programme is running under three themes namely “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)”, “Livelihoods”, and “Social Justice”.
“In Gokwe, we are focusing on WASH and livelihoods. Our entry point into an area is WASH. We believe water is life, sanitation is dignity and people need to learn about hygiene in their areas and homes,” Tabaziba said.
“Our minister of religion realised that most homes in three villages we have worked in so far had no toilets and were also drinking contaminated water. We built toilets, upgraded wells and now we are into livelihoods.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Chief Njelele called for swift government intervention to end hunger in the area.
“The January dry spell scorched most of the crops. The rains that came later on went on to destroy the few crops that had survived the dry spell. So it’s really a crisis in terms of food,” he said
“Very soon we are going to have serious starvation in the area. We are appealing to the government to step in as there is a great need for urgent supply of food in the area.”