World Vision Zimbabwe helps to restock the goat population

Livestock plays an important part in the livelihood of the majority of households in the southern region of Zimbabwe. However, recurring droughts over the past few years have taken a considerable toll.

World Vision Zimbabwe is working to improve the asset base of 300 poor and vulnerable households in Bubu District, through a project aptly-named GOATZ (Great Opportunities for Asset Transfer in Zimbabwe).

As the name suggests, the project is distributing goats to these families, to help recover what they have lost to the droughts. In all, 660 (600 female and 60 male) goats, from the larger Matabele breed, have been distributed among the families.

The project is part of the integrated food security program currently being implemented by World Vision Zimbabwe in the district. The program is sponsored by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

According to the United Nations assessment report for March 2003, over 35,000 cattle have died due to starvation and drought-induced diseases.

The project targeted asset-poor and vulnerable households in three communal wards of Bubi district. Beneficiaries were selected from then existing food aid beneficiaries.

To spread the project widely within the district, a "pass-the-gift" scheme was devised where benefiting households were partnered with a secondary household. It was agreed that the second pair of off-spring (male or female) are to be passed to the next household.

Selected beneficiaries received training on basic livestock management practices prior to receiving the goats. Training was offered in collaboration with Veterinary Services, Agriculture and Rural Extension Services (AREX) and World Vision staff.

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