This week I took a trip to Masvingo District to visit the WFP Masvingo Office and see a Food For Assets (FFA) project in action. I spent two days in Masvingo Town interviewing academics and experts about cropping distribution in the District. One other day was spent accompanying my WFP colleagues as well as Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) staff to a village in Hanawa where FFA registration for a dam project was underway.
The FFA project was construction of Ziware Dam in return for food or cash-based transfers. The process involved WFP and ADRA staff first speaking to the village leaders, telling them about the project and how it works, and answering any questions they had. Next, all the villagers who attended were addressed and their questions answered too. Villages that were further than 5km from the project site could not participate in the FFA project. The remaining villagers then separated into groups per village to rank their vulnerability and determine who would contribute to labour. They were then registered for the project.
Next, we visited a primary school called Matenda, where a nutritional garden and borehole had been constructed by WFP. The adjacent photo shows rows of carrots, lettuce, cabbage and onion and an orchard of young orange and mango saplings. The garden and borehole form part of the Zvishavane Water Source Development Project funded by WFP. The day ended with an interview with Daniel Chuma, an AgriTex extension officer for Ward 2 of Masvingo District.
My time in Masvingo was fruitful and enjoyable. I will have to return sometime to visit the Great Zimbabwe Ruins