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Ilanga Provincial Newspapers

SWM hands over equipment to Mucheni community conservancy


In a landmark development, the Sustainable Wildlife Management (SWM) Programme recently handed over an assortment of capital equipment to the Binga Mucheni Community Conservancy in north-western Zimbabwe in a move expected to empower the local institution to manage its natural resources sustainably.

Binga Rural District Council (BRDC)received the equipment on behalf of the Mucheni Community Conservancy (MCC).

The equipment, worth USD 50 000, included a tractor, a trailer, a dam scooper, a slasher, a ripper, and a grader blade.

“As the local authority, BRDC is ready to render maximum support to the Mucheni Community Conservancy, including to facilitate the establishment of the community conservancy’s governance body, tasked with overseeing conservancy affairs,” said Binga Rural District Council chief executive officer Joshua Muzamba.

“The equipment shall be used under the terms and conditions for handover agreed between the SWM Programme in Zimbabwe and BRDC. Together, let us work tirelessly to preserve our natural heritage and promote sustainable wildlife management for the benefit of current and future generations,” he added.

The equipment provided by the SWM Programme, which is funded by the European Union, will help communities in many ways once the MCC is operational. Together with the tractor, which will power the various accessories, there is a trailer for the transportation of community goods; a dam scooper to manage the numerous dams in the wards where the SWM Programme operates, to improve wildlife water supplies; a slasher for grass-cutting, fire prevention, and livestock haymaking; a grader blade for road and fireguard maintenance to increase accessibility and safety; and a ripper to make trenching easier for the installation of water pipelines, which will ensure a steady supply of water for both humans and wildlife.

The equipment, which will provide services to the community, will be operated and maintained by the SWM Programme throughout its lifespan.  A gradual handover process will be established as the programme’s activities progress.

The guests at the ceremony were also informed that a resolution to accept the MCC constitution had been passed by a full council meeting recently. This would mean the constitution would not be a product of a selected few individuals but would be representative of the entire community. This way, there would be community decision-making and ownership of Mucheni Community Conservancy development initiatives.

“We are all thrilled about the recent development, as the Binga full council passed a resolution establishing the MCC constitution as a legally binding document.

“We eagerly await the upcoming actions in establishing the body that will oversee MCC’s operations. Binga is going to be the first district to logically establish a CC, and we applaud BRDC for its firm decision on CCs,” said Maxwell Phiri, Zimbabwe’s SWM Programme Site Coordinator.

The SWM Programme is promoting the creation of community conservancies in Zimbabwe and the three neighbouring countries (Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia) that make up the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) to improve community wildlife management, livelihoods, and land-use planning.

The Mucheni Community Conservancy is being established in Binga District, Matabeleland North Province, in collaboration with the national government as well as local communities, and traditional chiefs.

In Zimbabwe, project activities are being implemented by the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD).

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