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The Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate, through funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) that is administered by the World Bank, is implementing the Hwange Sanyati Biodiversity Corridor Project (HSBCP). The project has four focal areas namely Livelihoods, Land Degradation, Climate Change and Biodiversity. The HSBC project is being implemented through CAMPFIRE (Livelihoods), Forestry Commission (Climate Change), Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Biodiversity) and EMA is implementing the Land Degradation component. The project is coordinated by WWF.
The Land Degradation component focuses on Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and the rehabilitation of degraded land in Chireya Ward located in the UME subcatchment within Sanyati Catchment. The catchment covers an area of 500ha and is characterised by sodic soils and deep gullies of over 5m in depth. In Chireya ward, the major gullies have eroded headward to a distance of over 612 metres towards the only hospital in the area which serves over 33 000 people, Chireya Mission Hospital; a business centre, a school, and major roads.
To complement community efforts the Agency with assistance from World Bank, WWF, Government Departments embarked on studies on the causes of gully erosion to prescribe effective gully reclamation methods as well as mechanical work to rehabilitate the affected area and protect the threatened infrastructure. To date, water harvesting equipment has been installed to reduce runoff and the construction of gabions at the hospital and along UME river are in progress. Biological control through the planting of vetiver grass is also being carried out. A total of six soil erosion monitoring stations have been established to measure the rate of soil erosion and rain gauges have also been installed in the stations to monitor rainfall; pictures below refer.
Gabion construction at Chireya
Water harvesting tanks installed at Chireya Primary School and the Hospital respectively.