Domboshawa communal lands under chief Chinamhora are located 30km North East of the capital city Harare. The area is famous for its market gardening and it supplies vegetables to the capital city Harare. Many people are finding the area attractive due to its proximity to the capital city and consequently, this has resulted in overcrowding and over population in the area. A majority of houses in the community have not been electrified thus firewood is the main source of fuel. It is common to see people carrying firewood on their heads, bicycle and trucks as firewood apart from being a source of fuel is a source of income or livelihood. The harsh economic environment, high unemployment rate and lack of knowledge and have contributed to the rampant cutting down of trees. The cutting down of trees has increased land degradation and vulnerability to hazards like drought.
...Our fight against Climate Church.....Domboshava Tree planting story.
The church in Domboshava has been implementing CCMP since 2012 and there has been some tremendous spiritual and physical development. It has to be noted that despite being awakened, the church has not championed issues of disaster risk reduction in the community. With the advent of the Participatory Assessment of Disaster Reduction (PADR) the church was able to engage and facilitate the community on deliberating and crafting local disaster risk reduction plans. Village head Murape indicated that “during the discussion that was facilitated by the church we noted that deforestation has rendered our community vulnerable to hazards like drought .As traditional we agreed that we have also exacerbated our vulnerability to risk by sanctioning the massive selling of stands in the community. The selling of stands came with cutting down of trees as people clear land and use trees as building material”.
Pastor Mbozi noted that “The church managed to facilitate the community to understand that trees are an important carbon sink that helps in the mitigation and response against climate change risk. Through the learning the community resolved that they have to stop wanton cutting down of trees and start planting trees to reverse the damage they had done over the years”. It has to be noted that in one of the meetings which was attended by the councillor, sub chief, village heads and community members it was resolved that the parcelling out of land must stop as this was creating an over dependence on trees and other resources”. Village Head Gonye reported that “it became apparent that as a community we have caused massive deforestation and made ourselves vulnerable. We mobilised $240 from the over 500 households in the community and we purchased 1 000 gum trees to start the community afforestation process.”
One lady from Gonye Village noted that “After we discussed the importance of trees and how they cover and protect the environment against erosion, desert encroachment and environmental degradation I personally committed to stopping the wanton cutting down of trees”. I have so far planted 10 trees at my homestead. I realised that for long time I have made my community vulnerable due to the tree cutting I was involved in”.
On the 17th of March 2017 the community managed to plant 1 000 gum tree. 51 people participated and the process was lead by 3 village heads, 6 pastors and a local headmaster. It was also agreed that tree planting become a calendar activity and next year during the rainy season the community will plant fruit trees. The community leaders have challenged each villager to gather seeds of different varieties as they prepare for a bigger tree planting exercise next year .The community has partnered with the Agriculture Extension Workers who will equip them with skills and knowledge on tree planting and management.