Amalima Loko and its partners held a vibrant celebration in Mzola East, Lupane district, to commemorate and showcase the remarkable achievements and successes accomplished in the district under the theme “Recognizing and Celebrating Our Achievements.”
Amalima Loko, a five-year USAID-funded humanitarian assistance program designed to enhance food and nutrition security in Zimbabwe, is implemented by Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA). The project aims to elevate livelihoods in Matabeleland Province, specifically in the districts of Binga, Hwange, Lupane, Nkayi, and Tsholotsho.
The event drew the participation of various Headmans from different wards, chiefs, community members, and Amalima Loko staff members.
In Lupane, Amalima Loko established clusters in five wards, namely wards 1, 2, 3, 4, and 27, encompassing Dongamuzi, Matshokotsha, Dandada, Mzola East, and Mzola West. Within these communities, participants received training on health and sanitation, Disaster Risk Management (DRR) issues, and environmental stewardship through de-bushing and gully reclamation initiatives.
Gender-related topics were also addressed, and community leaders underwent training on leadership skills.
To date, the organisation has rehabilitated 10 boreholes in the area to alleviate water scarcity and drilled five solar-powered boreholes. Additionally, 400 trees have been planted within the community.
Speaking at the event, Amalima Loko Chief of Party, Dominic Graham, emphasised that Amalima Loko is a USAID-funded program entering its fourth year, and these annual “Amalima Loko Day” celebrations serve as an opportunity to recognise and celebrate accomplishments.
“In this instance, we are particularly focused on exploring how individuals can play an active role within their communities to expedite development,” stated Brigham.
Two distinct groups received certificates during the event. One group of community members received certificates in borehole completion, acknowledging their contributions to this endeavour.
“The water has been approved by the relevant government agencies and is now ready for use,” Brigham affirmed.
The second set of certificates was presented to community health clubs, where community groups collaborate to improve household hygiene and sanitation practices.
“The challenges encountered in realising dreams are not insignificant. One observes the shared challenges of soil erosion, pastures, and water, challenges that impact everyone. Then, one considers the private struggles at the household level with income, crop cultivation, livestock management, and so many other challenges that surround them and make it difficult to achieve dreams. In the face of so many obstacles, often the biggest struggle is simply getting up and getting involved, picking oneself up, and making one’s determination. It is the first step and the biggest step,” Graham emphasised.
He underscored that the programme relies on individuals’ self-motivation to achieve their aspirations.
“We were invited to visit a modern home, and the more you looked around, the more you realized how interconnected Amalima Loko’s contributions were within this household. Firstly, there is a lady in the household with a young child who receives supplementary feeding and attends a care group. The household also has a latrine, drying rack, and all other necessary amenities. I also encourage men to join the health clubs; I believe we are all committed to achieving a place where open defecation is no longer a reality,” he added.
The event’s guest of honour, Mpendulo Ncube, expressed gratitude for the advancements brought to their area by Amalima Loko.
“This exemplifies this zeal for development. Our vision makes projects in our wards a success. Without a vision and support, there would be no development,” remarked Ncube.
“We all have a role to play in the development of our communities.”
Furthermore, Chief Menyezwa expressed his satisfaction with the advancements brought about by the Amalima Loko program.