Meet The Communities

The “Project Zone” for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project encompasses approximately 120,000 hectares of peri-urban community land in Lusaka Province.

There are 1,167 households and 8,300 community residents living in four “zones”: Chilimba Zone,Mweeshang’ombe Zone, Namanongo Zone and Ndubulula Zone.

Chilimba Zone: 240 households and approximately 1,800 individuals live in the 8 villages that make up Cilimba Zone.

Mweeshang’ombe Zone: 247 households and approximately 1,900 individuals live in the 5 villages of Mweeshang’ombe Zone.

Deforestation rates in the Project Zone are 11 times Zambia’s national average of 250-300,000 hectares per year. According to the Baseline Survey undertaken by BCP, approximately 70% of households generate income from charcoal production. Income dependency on charcoal production upon among these households is as high as 90%.

The BCP Trust aims to involve local stakeholders living within the Project Zone in effective deforestation mitigation efforts, designed to sustainably reduce their dependency on deforestation. Pilot Village Chicken Project activities are taking place in all four zones, and the Conservation Farming Training Program has been expanded to include participants from all four zones.
Please read on to learn more about the communities we work in…

Chilimba Zone:

Representatives from village committees and BCP Trust representatives, following a meeting concerning Zone Development Committee (ZDC) formation in Chilimba Zone

Representatives from village committees and BCP Trust representatives, following a meeting concerning Zone Development Committee (ZDC) formation in Chilimba Zone

320 households and approximately 2,400 individuals live in the 11 villages that make up Cilimba Zone. Bordering the northeastern boundary of the Project Area for the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project, as well as the northwestern boundary of the Lower Zambezi National Park, there is a high rate of recent immigration into Chilimba Zone combined with a high rate of dependency on income-generating activities that are dependent upon deforestation—particularly charcoal production.

The BCP Trust is currently involved with a school refurbishment and environmental education program in Chilimba Zone that is designed to improve the learning atmosphere for the approximately 220 students who are enrolled in Chilimba Community School. The BCP Trust hopes to expand this project so as to be able to complete classroom construction and housing for teachers, which could additionally improve the quality of education available to children in Chilimba.

Six villages in Chilimba are participating in pilot Village Chicken Project activities, supported by the BCP Trust. This project is designed to provide participants with access to training and resources to provide improved care to chickens, to increase their chances of health and survival. The project is designed to improve food security and generate small business opportunities for participating households.

The BCP Trust is also actively working with the Zone Development Committee (ZDC) to identify other possible projects and interventions that could improve livelihoods and reduce households’ dependency upon deforestation.

 

Mweeshang’ombe Zone:

The Mweeshang'ombe Community School, which serves approximately 130 children in grades 1 through 3

The Mweeshang’ombe Community School, which serves approximately 130 children in grades 1 through 3

Situated right along the northern boundary of the Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project, 247 households and approximately 1,900 individuals live in the 6 villages ofMweeshang’ombe Zone. Households inMweeshang’ombe reported the highest dependency upon charcoal production across all four zones—90% of households inMweeshang’ombe Zone are anticipated to be involved in charcoal production, with an average household income dependency upon charcoal production of 66%.

Due to these high dependency statistics, and in light of heavy farming activities in the area (which also lead to land conversion resulting in permanent deforestation), the BCP Trust has launched the pilot of its Conservation Farming Training Program (CFTP) in Mweeshang’ombe Zone. Local residents identified this project as a possible means of reducing the pressures they face to engage in deforestation. By improving farmers’ agricultural yields, the CFTP is able to improve local food security and participants’ access to income, thereby reducing their need to expand their fields or to engage in charcoal production “on the side” for additional income. In 2013, the BCP Trust hopes to expand this project to benefit at least 50 additional households in the Project Zone.

Participants in the Conservation Farming Training Program prepare musangu tree seedlings for a demonstration agro-forestry plot

Participants in the Conservation Farming Training Program prepare musangu tree seedlings for a demonstration agro-forestry plot

The BCP Trust is also in the process of launching a school refurbishment, fruit tree planting, and environmental education program in Mweeshang’ombe Zone. If adequate funds can be found, the BCP Trust would like to help fund the construction of a classroom that is large enough to accommodate the approximately 130 students who attend the Mweeshang’ombeCommunity School (which is currently a one room, mud-walled structure).

Four villages in Mweeshang’ombe are participating in pilot Village Chicken Project activities, supported by the BCP Trust. This project is designed to provide participants with access to training and resources to provide improved care to chickens, to increase their chances of health and survival. The project is designed to improve food security and generate small business opportunities for participating households.

The BCP Trust is also actively working with the Zone Development Committee (ZDC) to identify other possible projects and interventions that could improve livelihoods and reduce households’ dependency upon deforestation.

 

 Namanongo Zone:

Local community members listen attentively during a BCP Community Sensitization meeting

Local community members listen attentively during a BCP Community Sensitization meeting

In terms of households, Namanongo Zone is the largest zone adjacent to BCP’s Lower Zambezi REDD+ Project. Comprised of 344 households and approximately 2,200 individuals living in 10 villages, Namanongo Zone is certain to be one of the critical areas of intervention for the BCP Trust. The original name of the zone, “Nyamanongo,” means “there is meat”—which refers to the high levels of (illegal) hunting undertaken by the zone’s residents.

BCP Trust has provided a solar lighting unit to the Namanongo Rural Health Centre– the only clinic within the Project Zone. BCP Trust has long-term aims to support the construction of additional housing facilities for additional clinic staff.

Seven villages in Namanongo are participating in pilot Village Chicken Project activities, supported by the BCP Trust. This project is designed to provide participants with access to training and resources to provide improved care to chickens, to increase their chances of health and survival. The project is designed to improve food security and generate small business opportunities for participating households.

In November 2012, Headmen from Namanongo Zone allocated approximately 300 hectares towards a pilot project for BCP’s Sustainable Eco-Charcoal Project. Although slowed by the rains in December and January, the BCP Trust hopes to begin Sustainable Eco-Charcoal Project activities in Namanongo Zone within the first half of 2013.

The BCP Trust is also actively working with the Zone Development Committee (ZDC) to identify other possible projects and interventions that could improve livelihoods and reduce households’ dependency upon deforestation.

Ndubulula Zone:

Representatives from village committees and BCP Trust representatives, following a meeting concerning Zone Development Committee (ZDC) formation in Ndubulula Zone

Representatives from village committees and BCP Trust representatives, following a meeting concerning Zone Development Committee (ZDC) formation in Ndubulula Zone

Ndubulula Zone is the closest zone to Chongwe town, and to the tarmac “Great East Road” that leads to Lusaka—this proximity to Zambia’s capital city is both a blessing and a curse. 338 households and approximately 2,400 individuals live in the 5 villages that comprise Ndubulula Zone. There is a high rate of established (older) immigration to the zone, and institutions such as schools and associations within this zone tend to be well formed.

The BCP Trust launched its first intervention ever in Ndubulula Zone—in November 2012—just after its formation—the Trust provided the full funds necessary to refurbish a village borehole that had run dry years ago.

The BCP Trust’s Sustainable Eco-Charcoal Pilot Program was also officially launched in Ndubulula Zone. Designed to promote sustainable harvesting techniques and improved kiln technology, the Sustainable Eco-Charcoal Project is designed to simultaneously reduce unsustainable harvesting techniques and to improve community livelihoods. Ndubulula Headmen provided approximately 90 hectares of protected community forest to be used for the pilot project, and they have stated that they are prepared to set aside more forest, pending the success of the pilot project. In January 2013, fifteen individuals officially graduated from the first ever, two-month long Sustainable Eco-Charcoal Training Program. Once the first pilot kiln is completed, the graduates are ready to begin producing Zambia’s first and only sustainably harvested commercial lumpwood charcoal product—”Zamchar.”

Five villages in Ndubulula are participating in pilot Village Chicken Project activities, supported by the BCP Trust. This project is designed to provide participants with access to training and resources to provide improved care to chickens, to increase their chances of health and survival. The project is designed to improve food security and generate small business opportunities for participating households.

The BCP Trust is also actively working with the Zone Development Committee (ZDC) to identify other possible projects and interventions that could improve livelihoods and reduce households’ dependency upon deforestation.