Sustainable Livelihoods Programme is people centred and seeks to address multiple areas of citizen needs in the con-text of poverty and underdevelopment. The programme’s vision is to see Zimbabwean women, men and children exercising their rights and accessing dignified livelihood opportunities within the context of a just, ac-countable and democratic political, legal and socio-economic environment.
Four key issues to achieving sustainable livelihoods.
1. Access and Control over Productive Resources
Enhancing access to and control over productive resources like land, water, inputs and capital across all sectors of the economy and more importantly in the agricultural sector, and achieve food justice at national level.
2. Enterprise (Markets) Development work
Engagement with both public and private sector institutions to support enhanced agricultural production, marketing and agro-processing to sustain value chain driven employment and incomes, by especially poor women. Successful integration of small to medium entrepreneurs into previously unfavourable and inaccessible mainstream economic and social security schemes.
3. Climate Change and Adaptation
Enhancing community resilience through integration of disaster risk reduction measures in their livelihoods interventions, more so in the face of the challenges posed by climate change related impacts.
4. Women’s Economic Empowerment
Enhanced capacity by women and their organisations to challenge ideas and beliefs that are a barrier to reducing the social and economic marginalization of women.
Oxfam has been involved in programming in the following key sectors:
Agriculture – Irrigation & Livestock
The Sustainable Livelihoods programme has promoted conservation agriculture using drought tolerant crops and legumes to improve food security; as well as supporting beneficiaries on small livestock production through the use of livestock fairs to increase household assets
60 hectare irrigation scheme was established in Gutu, to provide access to water for production to 250 farm-ers. The project has benefitted 250 direct beneficiaries and will have more than 7500 indirect beneficiaries.
The scheme is cultivating farmland around the Ruti Dam, leading to a dramatic increase in crop yields and the well-being of the local community. The community has received capacity building on crop production, marketing and market linkages for their produce.
Climate Change Adaptation
In Zimbabwe Oxfam’s work on Climate Change Is based on the recognition that smallholder farming communities are already feeling the impacts of climate change.
Climate change is already making the fight to reduce hunger, poverty and inequality more difficult, putting Africa’s future peace and prosperity at risk; Women are disproportionately affected by climate change and they face social, economic and political barriers that limit their ability to cope and adapt.
Africa stands to pay a very high price for the failure to tackle climate change, despite it being the region that has done least to contribute to the problem.
Oxfam is working with various stakeholders in climate change adaptation work which seeks to;
1. Support the development of tailor made agro-met services for smallholder farmers and information value chain systems;
2. Show-case possible information dissemination plat-forms on weather and climate information to rural smallholder farmers;
3. Broaden the knowledge base around resilience building of smallholder farmer to weather variability and climate change in view of policy influencing.
4. Invest in developing approaches and farmer innovation solutions to facilitate for climate resilience by smallholder farmers.
5. Strengthen platforms (from local to national level) for integrating climate change adaptation into development initiatives.
Energy (Renewable Energy)
The Rural Sustainable Energy Development (RuSED) Pro-ject in Zimbabwe is a project being implemented by Oxfam in partnership with Practical Action funded by the European Union. The project focuses on promoting enterprise devel-opment through increased uptake for solar energy products by poor and marginalised communities.
The programme is also providing renewable energy in the form of solar power and micro hydro in two districts. Solar water pumping power is being provided for some of the irri-gation beneficiaries in Gutu as well as powering an Agri-Business Service Centre that will benefit households in Gutu as well as those from Buhera District of Manicaland which is across the Nyazvidzi River on which the Ruti Dam is built.
Schools and clinics are benefitting from this programme. In Himalaya, Mutare there is a Mirco-hydro Power Plant erected to provide renewable energy to the community for socio economic activities – irrigation, agro-processing and battery charging for domestic and institutional appliances