Community based projects as a source of rural livelihood in Zimbabwe.The case of Moza irrigation scheme in Bulilima District.

Author: Ncube, Nonsikelelo

The majority of Zimbabwe’s population derives their livelihoods from agriculture. Once known as the bread basket of Africa, rural Zimbabwe has experienced dramatic losses in agricultural production as economic and political constraints and climate change are testing the limits of agricultural production having a negative impact on the livelihoods of the rural poor. The drop in the male population in rural areas has resulted in the feminisation of agriculture and rural poverty. Top down approaches and policies have failed to address rural poverty. A new approach-bottom up planning which has not been fully examined has been added to the development planning system leading to the birth of Community Based Planning (CBP) which seeks to address rural poverty. This study aimed at examining the role of community based projects as a source of rural livelihood in Zimbabwe with a particular focus on Moza irrigation scheme in Bulilima District. The study was largely qualitative. The research concludes that regardless of various challenges faced by people in Bulilima District, the irrigation scheme acts as a poverty and climate change buffer, providing an opportunity for communities to raise their Human Development Index and attain sustainable development.