SAFIRE’s innovative approach to addressing the effects of climate change on food supply has yielded promising results with potential for wider impact on Zimbabwean communities.
Zimbabwe’s people are suffering from serious food insecurity .The increasing frequency of extreme weather, worsened by climate change, is threatening these already vulnerable communities.
The Southern Alliance for Indigenous Resources (SAFIRE) is a local NGO founded in 1994 to support rural communities in the sustainable resource exploitation for economic development. The organization operates in six provinces and 13 districts in Zimbabwe.
SAFIRE has received a grant from TerraFund for AFR100, an initiative of World Resources Institute, One Tree Planted, and Realize Impact that finances Africa's top restoration enterprises and projects, to start the Zimbabwe Forest Restoration project. The main objective was to assist communities in adapting to and mitigating the effects of climate change, while improving food and income security.
SAFIRE involves local communities in their projects by providing conservation training and technical knowledge. The Zimbabwe Forest Restoration project is designed to benefit communities financially and sustainably.
Joseph Chamisa, ecologist and natural resources management officer, explained why SAFIRE is undertaking this work.
“The end goal is to reclaim degraded areas by collaborating with the communities to implement the project. We are planting different species of trees, such as fruit trees. Tree yields will be used by the partner communities for economic benefits, thus encouraging the culture of conservation and improving food security,” says Joseph.
42,000 trees have been prepared for the Zimbabwe Forest Restoration projects’ initial step toward planting 500,000 trees across 142 hectares. SAFIRE is open to partnerships for their other restoration projects and plans to expand countrywide and become a regional leader in sustainable natural resources management.
With the Zimbabwe Forest Restoration project, SAFIRE is leading the way in sustainable natural resource management and making a positive impact on communities facing food insecurity due to climate change. As the country continues to face the challenges of this crisis, initiatives like this provide hope and inspiration for a brighter, and greener future.