VILLAGERS in the drought-prone Chief Mvuthu’s area in Victoria Falls have resorted to selling cow dung manure and firewood to eke a living after most of their crops were destroyed by wild animals from the vast Hwange National Park.
BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI
Most of the affected villagers are from Monde, Chidobe, Ndlovu and Lupinyu.
“The business is done even by those who do not own livestock because they collect manure in grazing pastures and put it in compost before selling it. However, some villagers clash when one encroaches into another’s territory,” one of the villagers said.
“We won’t be looking for money, but we prefer to do barter trade. For instance, a 20-litre bucket is equivalent to 1kg sugar or half bar soap or a child’s dress. I can sustain my family. It has become a business that even my children go out to pick the dung in the morning while I am trading.”
Another villager, Pankaj Ncube said: “We have nothing to harvest as is always the case. The elephants are maliciously savaging our crops and we have given up on crop farming. The lions and hyenas are also killing our livestock and nothing is being done. The chief has a record of 1 334 livestock that have been killed since last year June and it is very painful.”
Linkani Dube, another villager, who sells goat manure said: “We sell nearly eight buckets per day to residents in Chinotimba and Mkhosana. A bucket fetches $1 and we raise about $60 per month.”
Other villagers have also resorted to selling firewood.