I am setting this up for my friend Evans as his internet connectivity and access to power is inconsistent:
He's a leader in the Mzembe village in Zimbabwe, where the soil is very dry, growing food is difficult, and foreign aid keeps the people dependent on external inputs to sustain and nourish themselves. There is also a governmental and economic crisis in Zimbabwe that makes costs incredibly unstable and aid from the government nonexistent.
To plant seeds of hope in his village, Evans wants to create a 4.8 permaculture-designed farm consisting of a variety of plants and animals that is able to regenerate the soil, increase resilience to drought, and feed the people of the Mzembe village healthy food. In addition to the farm, he wants to build an education center that teaches people in the village and from surrounding villages how to implement the right sustainable growing techniques in the dry, desert climate.
Evans is incredibly driven to make this happen, and has a large vision to spread these seeds of food empowerment and positivity through the surrounding villages. No words can show how much Evans, myself, and the people of Mzembe and Marembo appreciate those who choose to lend their money or time in sharing this campaign. Here's his vision:
Hi, my name is Evans Mangwende and I am the founder of Mangwende Orphan Care trust. I am sorry for introducing myself very late. I am sure all the members in this group are familiar with this project and I am confident that together we are going to ensure that the land that sustains us is repaired, cared for and improved for all generations of Earthlings to live and prosper from.
We have two plots in different villages but in the same Ward, which are 8km apart. We have been operating from the smaller plot for the past 4 years. The smaller plot is 4.8 hectares [in the Mzembe village], close to Dombodzvuku Primary and Secondary Schools, Shambamuto Clinic, Casino Township and the main road. The electricity line is also very close and the land is fenced and we managed to construct a 9 roomed house which is half finished, a pit latrine, 4 deep wells, a half finished fowl-run and moulded 7000 interlocking bricks. We planted our garden this season but our water wells have dried up. We are now moving to the bigger plot [in the Marembo village] which is 10 hectares. The land is 8km from all the amenities mentioned above but close to one of the biggest rivers (perennial) in our Province. There are no structures and the land is not fenced and there is a narrow strip road from the main road to the land. We now have 16 000 farm bricks that have already been moulded, fruit trees, bananas and herbs for our food forest and few fencing materials. A rough sketch of the land has been drawn and gum poles for the construction of two mud huts are now in place. We have professionally drawn plans for the school and I have shared them with some of you. We have a 5.5 diesel water pump but we are no longer using it because of fuel shortages in the country. I will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have as we progress.
WHAT TO DO FIRST :-
1 Developing a master/ design for the centre, and knowing how to install the design and how to implement the design in stages is our first priority together with fencing the land to keep out domestic animals as they are usually left unattended.
Tools and equipment
We need decent farm tools and equipment that will last in the field.
2. Developing Water Supply.
An all year round water source is required.
Water, rainfall and sanitation will determine our centres development. The harvesting, storage and distribution of water form the foundation upon which we will build, because all the water lines, diversions, swales, terraces, dams/ ponds, channels, will become permanent land features that other infrastructure components will follow. ( Water storage, Water reticulation, Water harvesting).
3 We need to define access points
Access roads, tracks, and paths which are permanent features in the landscape need to be considered early as this is going to define our movement around the farm.
4. Introducing Structures
After water and access we will start the placement of buildings and other structures. We will also consider energy needs, the generation and storage of the energy.
5. Subdivide Our Farm With Fencing
The home garden area around the home must be fenced. This is a vital part of food security. The fence can be a living fence.
6. Improve Our Soil
We need to develop our soil depending on what we want to grow.
7. Planting trees and crops
If we have our soil and water supply ready and ensured an easily accessible property, the next stage is the planting and establishment of the main systems of the farm – farm forestry, pastures, market gardens, food forests etc. The first priority ( after water and sanitation have been taken care of) of our sustainable development project is to gain year round food security. Food security must be plan ed for the short term, medium term and long term. Hungry people are difficult to train
8 Introducing Animals
I think animals are an integral part of the agricultural enterprise and regenerative ecology. We have a few road runner chickens.
Thank you for standing by me and for your support. Evans Mangwende.The Initial Costs:
Bus Fare for Permaculture Classes in Chimanimani
Food and Misc expenses for trip
2 Doors, 2 frames, 2 beds, 4 window frames, 10 bags of cement
Toilet digging and construction
Digging a deep well, construction and cement
Bonnox fence = 10 ×100m × $110
Plain high strain wire 6× 50kg × $65
Treated poles 50-75mm × 260 × $1.50
Droppers 30 - 50mm × 650 x 0.80
Allowance for Severe inflation and variability of currency value in Zimbabwe: $400
Total: $4200The Blueprints
Initial blueprints of the education center have been drawn up:
Evans, myself, and all of the people you help in Mzembe and Marembo appreciate any contribution to this campaign. Wether it's a like, share, or telling your friends about it anything helps!