Helping livelihoods in Zambia

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Helping livelihoods in Zambia

In 2007, a donor who was already supporting Concern contacted us about funding a project with a number of friends.

Canal clearing in progress, Western Province, Zambia. Photo: Claire Hanna The group of five were interested in a water project in Africa. After a number of conversations with them, we provided a proposal on water and livelihoods in Western Province, Zambia.

Local communities

The goal of the project was to improve the livelihoods of people living on the Zambezi flood plains. The plains are flooded on an annual basis, but blocked canals mean that the flood waters took longer to drain, resulting in major problems in food production.

The project involved working with local communities to clear the canals, thus improving flood drainage allowing for the earlier planting of crops. The unblocked canals were also vital for irrigation and transport.

Reclaiming land

The syndicate agreed to fund this project for two years, donating £40,000 per year. In 2007, 750 kilometres of canal were cleared by both men and women from local communities using tools provided by Concern.

Following the clearing, one farmer Jasper Mwimanenwa of Nasiwayo said, “I am now 48 years old and since I was born I have never seen people use this piece of land for cultivation. This year I have witnessed the real impact of canal clearing. Idle land has been reclaimed for production.”

The syndicate will now fund the clearing of 560km of canal as well as the training of communities on the annual upkeep of canals.

For more information, please contact [email protected].