Zimbabwe Placeholder

Water harvesting, conservation and sustainable use

About the Implementing organization

Name: Family-In-Need Trust of Zimbabwe

Country: Zimbabwe

Year of establishment: 2003

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization


The project is supporting the capacity building, combating land degradation, catchments management, water harvesting and sustainable biodiversity conservation in the area to sustain the water sources. The project draws water from a mountain source 5km to a storage tank that supply water to the irrigated plots’ and households use. This project has managed to protect degradation of land, reduce soil erosion, and deforestation through forestation in the area. The project also take certain innovations to improve rehabilitation of degraded land areas so as to ensure a stable and productive ecosystem that improve community lifestyle among 29 households utilizing the water point

Nature Element

Forests / Mountains / Drylands

Type of Action

Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use / Awareness and education

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Water security

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

The initiative is supporting forestation, management of ecosystem at river source that provide irrigation water, capacity build families to utilize natural resource for their benefit while protecting catchment management and environmental conservation through practice of sustainable farming methods. The soil is improved through using organic practices composting and use of manure. The household and the community seek to arrest environmental degradation while at the same time enhancing household level of livelihood and food security options. There is rehabilitation of degraded land areas in order to ensure a stable and productive ecosystem. It also improved the community base forestry management by practicing forestation. Organic and conservation farming is done through contour ploughing and across slopes. They also plant the leguminous plants which enrich the soil. Crop rotation and mulching also practiced for sustainable natural resource management.

Sustainable Development Impacts

The water harvesting project is proving the a source of livelihoods through incomes and food production realized from the sale of their produce weekly and monthly to support families and the well being of the community. Through implementation of several bio-diversity conservation and environmental management strategies the water harvesting and catchment management initiative has managed to provide two decent meals for 150 families in the project. On average each family through sale of vegetables from the plots get $10 income per week that makes it possible for families to meet necessary household’s bill such as medication, school fees, clothing and sustenance of the project. The plots also provide much needed nutritious food for the families. Due to capacity building training on soil management and environmental conservation, a quarter of families in the project is now involved in the business of selling various indigenous and exotics trees to increase income levels.


In the long run of the project purpose is build on the experiences in improving and promoting local and global environment and the food security of local indigenous people who are small producers in Chimanimani. The initiative can also be scaled along the Middle Save and the Save Conservancy Park for sustainable utilising of resources and water tapping for local people and for animals. Use of appropriate extension approaches could be of great use in scaling up this initiative in semi dry lands around the globe for water conservation and water harvesting. The project is strengthening the capacity of small producers and extension agents on a 50=50 basis for both men and women to be trained to internalize use of participatory rural development approaches, which improve the technological capacity of small producers to manage their own resources and output, from their produce to sustain their initiatives


The initiative has successful shared its knowledge and innovations with other local and community-based groups. The water harvesting project benefited Jinga and Nyahondo communities through sharing of idea and knowledge on how to sustain the project during the 2009 look and learn tour. The Nyahondo community benefited most from the water harvesting project as they are now in the process of developing their own initiative leaning from ours. During the visit they shared the knowledge with each other about how to tap and conserve water underground water while managing the ecosystem around for future benefits.The local media has also been used to reach target communities in Zimbabwe and outside including other interested stakeholders such as Chimanimani Art festival, Africa University Festival for peer to peer review and knowledge exchange.

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