Walter Nyamukondiwa in SIAKOBVU
AT Least 41 people –mostly women and people living with disabilities in the Siakobvu area of Nyaminyami Rural District Council have started livestock rearing and sewing cooperative projects.
To ensure continuity and success of the projects, the women have undergone training in project and business management.
This includes maintaining a cashbook, keeping records and minutes for easy reference and monitoring of projects.
The project also includes components of internal savings and lending which are expected to empower women and people living with disabilities in the drought-prone and wildlife-infested area.
Women have been organised into groups of up to eight members and given goats and chickens bought for them in the community or among themselves.
The goats and chickens are kept in a communal pen where members take turns to herd and look after.
With goats breeding twice a year, the goats are expected to multiply and be sold to the local market and other areas such as Kariba, Magunje and Karoi.
The Tony Waite Organisation, which is funding the project said it would help balance the scale between women and men in the community and improve livelihoods.
Executive director Ms Ellen Vengere said the success of the project hinged on sound management by members, hence the pre-training.
“We want to improve livelihoods in the Siakobvu community where cases of gender based violence (GBV) and child marriages are on the increase,” said Ms Vengere.
“By empowering women, we hope that we improve the overall life of people in the area and also help in reducing cases of domestic violence.”
She said mechanisms should be put in place to ensure that the projects are run successfully, reducing instances of embezzlement and premature death of the projects.
Some of the women received sewing and over-locking machines, cloths and threads to sew school uniforms, personal protective equipment including masks and other paraphernalia.
One of the beneficiaries, Mrs Patience Chigoya said the livestock project and internal lending programme were important in improving people’s lives in the area.
“It is important that as women and those living with disabilities, we are empowered to support our families and so that we are able to look after ourselves,” said Mrs Chigoya.
She, however, expressed concern over the numerous incidents of livestock being devoured by wild animals such as hyenas.
Siakobvu is in the semi-arid Kariba district with little average rainfall, high temperatures and wildlife making meaningful cropping difficult.