by SUKUOLUHLE NDLOVU
ZAKA, (Lowveld Post) – A MAJOR tree planting initiative to re-afforest Zaka Central is set to boost the livelihoods of locals as well as preserving the environment.
Residents of the Chemvuu area of the constituency are to plant 1 500 trees, to cover 7, 5 hectares of land, along the Chemvuu Dam Catchment.
First Lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa, officiated at the project to be implemented under the Integrated Environmental Programme.
The environment tree planting initiative is now at the second stage but it is the first of its kind in Zaka district.
Villagers are upbeat at the opportunities lying ahead.
“The trees are going to make a difference in our lives as well as improve our health,” said Memory Dzingai.
Health wise we all know that trees are the greatest medicine of all time. This is going to be a major boost for us.”
Dzingai said while locals would reap fruits from the trees, more importantly there were opportunities in fish farming.
All these benefits would shield local communities in the arid area from hunger.
“Getting relish is the greatest challenge we face. This will be lessened when we start fish farming,” said Dzingai.
She concluded that Zaka was a dry area, hence the importance of starting sustainable projects instead of solely relying on donors.
Sarudzai Bhanda, is among locals that also welcomed the use of the dam for domestic irrigation purposes.
Mnangagwa assured local communities of the continued support of the Integrated Environmental Programme partners.
“The Ministry of Environment through the Forestry Commission, Environmental Management Agencies, Allied Timbers and the National Parks will continue working with you for the next five years to see that the project becomes a success,” the First Lady said.