The Passing of Zephaniah Phiri, September 1st, 2015

The Trustees and the Phiri Award for Farm & Food Innovators, and the members of Muonde Trust announce with great sadness today the passing (following a massive stroke) of the master himself, the great spirit that was Zephaniah Phiri. He will be buried September 3rd at his home in Mapanzure (Runde). Born in 1927 Zephaniah …

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Resettlements: 2015 Statement of Program Rationale and Outcomes

In the first two decades after independence in 1980 only a few Mazvihwa families were resettled in commercial farms resettled by government on a willing buyer willing seller basis. However in the decade of the 2000s, and in a highly complex and phased fashion, people from Mazvihwa played important roles in over-running the old Texas …

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Education: 2015 Statement of Program Rationale and Outcomes

The adult education program at Gwavachemayi, generously funded by one of our individual donors, is the first such effort in a rural school in Zvishavane and possibly in the country. The students study in the 1-5pm slot after the regular students, with teachers receiving top-up salaries for their extra work. The effort was launched by …

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Digital Technology: 2015 Statement of Program Rationale and Outcomes

Today’s Zimbabweans are as equipped with cellphones as anyone else, and the youth enter the digital age with yearning and skill. This Muonde program supports the introduction of computers and IT training to the schools, provides practical training in the collection and sharing of digital materials, and provides the platform for the community to share …

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Disposing of New Wastes: 2015 Statement of Program Rationale and Outcomes

Over the last ten years levels of plastic packaging use has exploded in Africa, even in remote rural areas like Mazvihwa. Here the culture of waste disposal was based mainly of three kinds of recycling. First most items of leather, metal, cloth and rubber would be repaired and patched continuously, and broken or worn out …

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Domestic Architecture and Kitchen Spaces: 2015 Statement of Program Rationale and Outcomes

The Muonde Team has long given detailed attention to how women manage their domestic space and deliver welfare to their families. Community action-researchers have monitored food, health, sanitation and water use since the 1980s, helping the community to understand the determinants of wellbeing and to adapt accordingly. For example, Muonde researchers found that domestic water …

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Trees and Woodland Management: 2015 Statement of Program Rationale and Outcomes

The indigenous knowledge of the Mazvihwa community concerning their trees and other plants is quite extraordinary. Depending on the diversity of their ecological zone, and even at younger ages, people in Mazvihwa know hundreds of plant species and their ecologies and uses, even as the area suffers declines in diversity (especially on the clay soils …

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Livestock, Hedging, Drystone Walls and Fencing: 2015 Statement of Program Rationale and Outcomes

The people involved in Muonde have been concerned with the fencing issue since the 1980s when the late Mathou Chakavanda and others promoted the local experimentation which was then going on with live fencing using indigenous and other species (like sisal and cactus). This was because the community started measuring how much Acacia woodland in …

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Water Harvesting, Catchment Management and Farming: 2015 Statement of Program Rationale and Outcomes

In common with many other semi-arid regions the ancestral agricultural system in Mazvihwa was not based on extensive dryland farming but instead focused around the intensive use of natural wetlands – makuvi or dambos in the hills and majeke riverbank gardens in the plains. Elaborate systems of trenches and furrows were dug by hand with …

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