Sometimes people’s lives are being transformed and revived in a small corner of the globe and we don’t even know it is happening. That is why we want to share some updates with you of what is taking place on the southern boundary of Malilangwe Reserve where Singita Pamushana Lodge is located (Zimbabwe). Hluvuko and Chitengenyi are small scale irrigation schemes a few kilometres from Singita Pamushana. Hluvuko was established in 2005 and Chitengenyi in 2008 and the schemes have been running successfully over the years, reflecting a story of benefits without boundaries.
Let’s take a few steps back in case you are reading this and don’t know about how these projects started. Singita Pamushana Lodge was established for the sole purpose of generating income to assist in funding the conservation and community outreach programmes coordinated by the Malilangwe Trust. The Trust’s Neighbour Outreach Programme (NOP) is the vehicle through which Singita Pamushana Lodge and The Trust achieve their community development purpose. One of the Trust’s key focus areas is the Feeding Programme which helps ensure that local young children receive a nutritionally balanced meal each day, and so are able to maximise the benefits of their schooling.
The small scale irrigation schemes operate alongside this feeding programme, and aim to enhance food security within the wider community, in a sustainable manner. They were established to enable vulnerable communities to grow their own food, and also to supply drinking water for domestic and livestock consumption. Hluvuko and Chitengenyi are two of the schemes. It is thrilling to be able to report that the objective of food security and an improvement in the nutrition of rural communities bordering the Malilangwe Reserve is now being achieved, for a large part of each year. Communities are now able to grow and access fresh vegetables from the communal gardens.
Hluvuko is 2.5 hectares and has 26 direct beneficiaries. This year they managed to grow tomatoes, onion, carrots, beetroot and rape, most of which will be ready for market in July. This year is their first year of growing beetroot and the crop is doing very well and most likely will be purchased by the kitchens at Singita Pamushana Lodge.
Chitengenyi is also 2.5 hectares and has 62 direct beneficiaries. Due to challenges with their borehole, this year they started planting late. Thanks to the Malilangwe Trust the borehole was repaired last week and the scheme is back on track.
The success of these schemes is that they have gone beyond subsistence level and are now producing excess crops which community members are able to sell in order to supplement their income. Now that’s a story we want to share far and wide.
Guests can be inspired by the knowledge that their stay is assisting to sustain the wilderness and to support the local communities in practical and effective ways.
(Update provided by Tendai Nhunzwi, Human Resources Manager, Malilangwe Reserve)