Zimbabwe

Amalima

Overview:

Amalima, a seven-year USAID Development Food Aid Program (DFAP) (2013-2020), works with over 56,000 households to sustainably improve household food security and nutrition in Zimbabwe’s districts of Bulilima, Gwanda, Mangwe (Matabeleland South), and Tsholotsho (Matabeleland North).

Amalima draws its name from the Ndebele word for the social contract by which families come together to help each other engage in productive activities such as land cultivation, livestock tending, and asset building.

Program Approach:

  1. Improve Sustainable Access to and Availability of Food: Amalima promotes climate and conservation-sensitive agriculture practices and encourages the adoption of improved agriculture and livestock production practices;
  2. Strengthen Community Resilience to Shocks: Amalima partners with communities to improve livelihoods and build resilience by creating and strengthening disaster risk reduction (DRR) committees through cash for asset activities, household asset vouchers, and village savings and lending (VS&L) groups that promote income generating activities and savings to build household resiliency;
  3. Improve Nutrition and Health: Amalima improves the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) practices, dietary diversity, and micro-nutrient intake of pregnant and lactating women and children under two by distributing supplementary feeding rations and enhancing nutrition care practices with a combination of capacity building, mentoring, and community-based messaging delivered through care groups and community health clubs;
  4. Promote Gender Equality: Amalima empowers women to play a key role in food security and resiliency at the household and community levels through increased access to and control over incomes, while promoting men and women to take increasingly equal responsibilities for both productive and reproductive activities.

Partners:

  • Organization of Rural Associations for Progress
  • Dabane
  • International Medical Corps
  • Africare
  • Manoff Group

Visit from USAID/Zimbabwe

Mission Director, Stephanie Funk

On July 22 and 23, 2015 Amalima hosted the new USAID/Zimbabwe Mission Director, Stephanie Funk, at the office for a presentation on the program and on a field visit to Gwanda district. The Mission Director and Amalima technical staff met with district government stakeholders, visited the Selonga garden Cash for Assets (CFA) irrigation scheme, and met with Community Health Club (CHC) members in Thibeli village. Amalima uses CFA as a strategy to get vital cash in the hands of vulnerable households in its target districts during the lean season, while contributing to community disaster risk reduction (DRR) and livelihoods opportunities by using that labor to produce a shared community asset as prioritized by the communities’ DRR plans. The Selonga DRR committee explained to the visitors that, upon completion, the irrigated garden will benefit farmers who were previously practicing stream bank cultivation along a nearby dam to irrigate their crops.

However, this practice came into conflict with the policies of the Environmental Management Agency (EMA), which sought to prevent siltation of the dam from poor agricultural practices and uncontrolled livestock activities close to the dam. The DRR committee identified the present site of the irrigation scheme as the location for a new garden where a siphon system is now being installed to draw water 1.5 km downstream of the dam. The development of Selonga irrigation scheme will have trifold effect on the community by preserving the surrounding environmental conditions and water quality, improving the agricultural productivity and food security, and enabling households to use their cash income to pay for food and agricultural inputs.