This weekend I participated in a field day at Igusi (Nyamandlovu Area). The day involved a dispaly of cattle and a newly constructed dip tank, a tree planting exercise and a prize giving ceremony for farmers who have excelled in that area.
The drive out to Nyamandlovu was smooth and quick, however the journey to Igusi was not as comfortable. The dirt roads have not harden and driving through the loose soil is like attempting to drive through desert sands. Although arduous we made it to our final destination.
We received a warm welcome from the locals. I had such a euphoric feeling being in Igusi, the constant sound of cattle mooing, the smell of the soil and the cowbells all reminded me of the times I used to visit my village home of Gwanda.
The area like many places in Matabeleland faces a lot of challenges when it comes to water. For this reason most of the cattle are not as big and healthy in comparison to cattle bred in other areas. With the limited water supply and sporadic patches of grass the communal farmers do their best to breed the cattle. Another challenge the water shortage causes is difficulty in sustaining the dip tank. The tank needs to be at full capacity for the cows to be fully dipped. Women in the area sited they had to walk quite a distance with buckets of water in an attempt to fill the tank.
From the diptank we proceeded to Igusi Secondary School for Tree Planting. The school has 172 students and 5teachers. It is a small school but has been serving the community for a number of years.
The Headmistresses started the Orchard Project a few years ago but some of the trees have since withered due to water shortages. We planted fruit trees as well as the Moringa Oliefera Tree. This tree is noted for its nutritional value. It helps to boost the human immune system and helps curb High Blood Pressure.
The aim of maintaining orchards at schools is to teach children the benefit and value of trees. When trees are in the fruit bearing season, children can enjoy the fruits and then encourage their parents to plant trees as well. It has been mandated in Zimbabwe that each school in Zimbabwe should plant trees yearly and establish large orchards and eventually forests.
Every pronvince in Zimbabwe is expected to plant a million trees by the end of the planting season which ends in February. This totals 10 million trees to be planted in all of Zimbabwe. Our population has over 13milliion people that means if each person in Zimbabwe plants a tree we will exceed the required minimum.
I encourage you today to plant a tree. Whether its in your backyard, at your school, in your local park, help preserve the environment by planting trees…
“A seed hidden in the heart of an apple is an orchard invisible”. ~Welsh Proverb