Wetlands and Water Harvesting as Resources in Communal Farmers' Food Security: A Case from Zvishavane
Phiri Maseko, Z.
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Although a large part of the Zimbabwean population is living in and dependent on semi- arid and sandy-soil areas, the cultivation of the wetlands is still severely restricted by law. As during colonial times, environmental arguments are used to prevent communal farmers from using the wetlands. The question is not whether or not the wetlands should be used, but how they should be used. In this paper we hope to show that a sustainable and deliberate use of the wetlands by communal farmers is desirable and possible. Access to wetlands can give farmers an opportunity to stabilize their production and by doing so improve their food security. A change in the legislation is needed for this to be possible. Hopefully, the importance of the (potential) use of the wetlands and water harvesting will be more widely recognized by policy makers and others involved in rural development in the communal areas. To contribute to the debate about wetlands we present a case study of Mr. Phiri Maseko's form and the Zvishavane Water Resources Project (ZWRP). Community-based water projects are the main focus of the ZWRP.