Teaching others – October 2013
Jimmy is 32 year old farmer who lives with his wife near Binga in the north west of Zimbabwe. In the past communities in this region used to farm and fish along the banks of the Zambezi River, but after the Kariba dam was built in the late 1950s, communities were forcibly displaced inland with promises of irrigation as compensation. This irrigation did not materialise and Binga is an area that now suffers from the effects of climate change, experiencing long periods of drought, followed by intense and sometimes unpredictable periods of rainfall.
Before the work of Christian Aid partner, Christian Care, Jimmy used to plough his fields using cows. This caused soil to become lose and encouraged easy erosion and nutrient loss during heavy rains. Christian Care introduced a technique called ‘Conservation Farming’ which is designed to conserve soil, water and nutrients. This technique has transformed Jimmy’s life. Before conservation farming he produced virtually no food, now he grows sorghum and maize yielding about 5 drums of sorghum and 4 drums of maize. Sometimes he sells his yield to get soap and sugar but sometimes he just keeps it to eat. Thanks to the work of Christian Care, he can sustain himself and is now teaching others in the community to be able to do the same. www.cforl.org.uk