One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants

by Odyssey Conservation Trust
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
One Health for Shangaan and The Place of Elephants
Shangaan women going to the nutrition garden
Shangaan women going to the nutrition garden

The global food crisis associated with the war in Ukraine is already affecting food security in Africa with negative impacts on low-income households in both rural and urban areas. In Zimbabwe, maize meal and bread prices increased by approximately 50 and 30 percent, respectively, between March and April. Vulnerable households such as in Mahenye community will therefore have limited access to such items and their reliance on income generating and food providing activities such as the nutrition gardens is becoming more and more crucial. Added to that is the fact that rainfall this year came too late to have a significant impact on crops.

More than ever do the women of Mahenye community need your support for maintaining their nutrition gardens. Whether you choose to support nutrition garden maintenance costs for one person or fo one household, you can make a difference!

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Wildlife in Gonarezhou NP
Wildlife in Gonarezhou NP

More than ever the Shangaan community of Mahneye needs to reinforce livelihoods programs such as the nutrition gardens as malnutrition is still a reality in Zimbabwe. Last year, millions faced severe food insecurity and relied on food assistance with thousands of children having suffered from acute malnutrition. For Mahenye community the development of self-supporting food security is key for this remote community living at the frontline of vital conservation efforts. Black rhinos were re-introduced last year in Gonarezhou National Park in this park which also holds a very healthy elephant population and their survival is closely link to the improved health and well-being of communities. This is One Health.

With women playing a key role in food security and nutrition, family health, and the transmission of traditional environmental knowledge, supporting women in Mahenye remains the keystone of sustainable conservation efforts. Now that the harvesting season is getting closer in Mahenye, women need to be fully equipped to maintain the nutrition gardens which will enable them to provide sufficient food in their household.

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Black rhinos  reintroduced in Gonarezhou NP
Black rhinos reintroduced in Gonarezhou NP

More than ever do we need your help to support the Mahenye Shangaan community living around Gonarezhou National Park in becoming food secure, which is the main objective of the nutrition gardens with Shangaan women.

We started developing these gardens to provide diverse and nutrient-rich vegetables to women and their families. A few families have now started to grow a healthy production of vegetables which is described as a very encouraging success "since the Mahenye Garden was commissioned it has been a great success, providing a range of good quality vegetable for local consumption" said one of the elders in the village. 

There is no doubt that improving local livelihoods through adequate nutrition and food security is associated to positive wildlife conservation outcomes. As black rhinoceros have just been re-introduced in the Gonarezhou National Park, it is now vital to support Mahenye community to preserve their exceptional natural heritage, fo which they are the true custodians.

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Training in Holistic Grazing to restore rangelands
Training in Holistic Grazing to restore rangelands

When we started the One Health program with Mahenye community a few years ago, we developed a training program on Holistic Planned Grazing for farmers in the community in order to help restore rangelands which had been degraded under the combined action of overgrazing and erosion. This holistic technique which has been developed in Zimbabwe is very effective in restoring soil fertility, improving crop productivity and in reducing human-wildlife conflict. 

As the world is preparing to celebrate World Environment Day and to launch the UN decade on Ecosystem Restoration in order to restore an area the size of China over the next 10 years, our One Health approach is visionary in having already promoted the restoration of drylands around conservation areas.

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Southern Africa has now been hit by a second, more severe wave of COVID-19, with the reinstating of tougher restriction measures limiting people’s movements and closing borders. This has again compromised access to income for many rural families, especially as this is the peak of the lean season.  More than 4 million people face severe food insecurity in rural area and more than 1 million women and children require nutrition assistance.

A tougher lockdown also means that tourism activity at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge is greatly reduced, with very little income to support Mahenye community.  This is a time when food emergency aid is vital to assist the most vulnerable families, especially women-led households, while also preparing plans for the nutrition garden this year. This is One Health In Action to build resilience of the most vulnerable communities in the face of great uncertainty and to protect one of the most iconic elephant population of southern Africa.

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Organization Information

Odyssey Conservation Trust

Location: Bakewell - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @odysseyphi
Project Leader:
Julie Garnier
Bakewell, United Kingdom
$844 raised of $52,381 goal
 
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