Exploring the strategies to enhance food security and rural livelihoods: a case of Ward 12 in Buhera District
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Food security is very elusive in Ward 12 of Buhera District despite relentless efforts by the households to ensure they are food secure. There is massive food shortage in Ward 12 of Buhera District due to a number of factors as highlighted by the respondents’ views, amongst them are climate change, poverty, labour shortages among households, natural causes such as soil impoverishment as well as wrong choice of crops. Despite this food shortage crisis households in ward 12 are working painstakingly to ensure that they are food secure. Various strategies have been adopted and implemented in Ward 12 of Buhera District by individual households so as to bring food to the family. Cooperative gardening and individual efforts are the major strategies that are being practiced in Ward 12. Gardening is practiced by households growing horticultural crops which they are selling in the surrounding areas so as to buy food for the family as well as providing enough food to the family. Some households have ventured in small scale irrigation to supplement the erratic rainfall of Ward 12 in Buhera District. Individuals are also venturing in panning, barter trading and fishing. Women are the main actors in the plight for food security as they undertake numerous strategies from cooperative gardening to even the panning exercise. Men also have shown that they engage in more laborious work while women try the lighter activities. Despite individual household’s effort, the government and non-governmental organizations have also joined hands with Ward 12 households to enhance food security. Land of Lakes and World Vision are the two organizations that have donated heifers and goats respectively to households of Ward 12 in Buhera District with the intention of eradicating poverty as well as providing the draught power that is necessary in crop cultivation. The government has also engaged in food aid programmes in Ward 12 of Buhera District through its food for work programme which has led to the construction of dams and maintenance of roads in the area. Despite all these efforts, strategies are set back by various problems such as mismanagement of the cooperatives and misunderstandings which have seen some of the gardens being destroyed by cattle. Water shortage is also another problem that is mainly encountered by the households of Ward 12 in Buhera District as sources of water dry up due to little rainfall that is mainly received in the area. Panners face problems such as shortage of advanced equipment to use for extracting the mineral hence this reduces the amount of mineral extracted thereby reducing the profit generated. Misunderstanding, fights and injuries are some of the problems that are encountered by the people of Ward 12 in the mining of tenderlite.