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Agnes Machona watering her vegetable plot at Chigumira communal garden.

Agnes Machona watering her vegetable plot - Christian Aid / David Brazier

Cymru Zimbabwe Project

The Welsh Government has awarded Christian Aid a grant for a project in Zimbabwe.

Cymru Zimbabwe Project

Christian Aid Wales has been awarded £182,000 from the Welsh Government’s Wales and Africa Grant Scheme to reach communities affected by the Covid-19 and climate crisis in Zimbabwe.

The year-long Women-Led Sustainable Livelihoods project will help strengthen the resilience of 10,500 women farmers in Hwange District in Zimbabwe as they face the challenges of both Covid-19 and the climate crisis.

While Covid-19 and the climate crisis continue to impact on people all over the world, it is the poorest communities that are feeling the worst effects. The pandemic has led to a rise in the cost of grains and other consumables and a loss of income, leaving small-holder farmers particularly vulnerable. Lockdown measures have disrupted farming and produce markets. This comes on top of the effects of a changing climate which have led to serious challenges in growing food, with longer droughts and serious flooding. 

Working through local partners, Christian Aid has been working in Zimbabwe since the 1960s. The Welsh Government funded project will train women in climate resilient farming techniques, giving them the skills to adapt to the new environment created by changing weather patterns, while also supporting them to combat and mitigate the effects of Covid-19.  By increasing access to sustainable livelihood opportunities through climate resilient farming, improved management of natural resources and environmental rehabilitation, families will have improved food security and income. The project includes the planting of 20,000 new trees to contribute to reforestation and providing 1,000 households with clean renewable energy, as well as empowering a group of women farmers in advocacy and leadership skills to equip them to participate and have a voice in shaping policies and practices which affect their lives and livelihoods. 

Overall the project aims to reach 40,000 people, helping them to be more resilient as they continue to face the reality of the  climate crisis. 

Mari McNeill, Head of Christian Aid Wales, said:

‘This grant from Welsh Government is good news for the people in Zimbabwe who are feeling the impact of the Covid pandemic and the climate crisis. It is also good news for us in Wales, as we work towards becoming a globally responsible nation. Christian Aid Wales forms part of a tremendous movement of people, churches, and local organisations with the aim of eradicating extreme poverty by tackling its root causes. Thanks to the Wales and Africa Grant Scheme, we will be able to reach those who are most vulnerable to the climate crisis, while we also learn from and stand in solidarity with women in Zimbabwe to become their own agents of change in their communities.’

Look out for ways to learn more about this project and opportunities to get involved:

(The above image of Agnes is for illustrative purposes only. It shows Christian Aid's work in Zimbabwe but it is not of the project itself.)

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