The Association of Zimbabwe Traditional Environmental Conservationists (AZTREC) is a community Owned Non-Governmental Organisation (CO-NGO) bases in Masvingo Province South of Zimbabwe. The organisation is implementing a programme on enhancing and rivitalising African knowledge systems. Its philosophy is based on culture and cosmo-vision of the indigenous people. The organisation programme thematic areas are Indigenous agriculture, Nature conservation Local technology development, Traditional Health, Culture and Cosmovision. In general the programme is aimed at taking a holistic approach to development that is endogenous and empowering rural women. This paper looks at solar cooking and food processing as an alternative to sustainable utilisation of fuel wood by rural women of Masvingo Province. Under the thematic conservation of sacred woodlands and sacred wetlands, traditional ceremonies and rituals were performed and complemented by planting of indigenous tree species such as mukute (Syzigium cordutum) muonde (ficus carpensis), mutohwe (Azanza Garhiena) etc. The project was implemented through the leadership of the traditional institutions: these are the chiefs and spirit mediums who are the custodians of flora and fauna.
To that effect more that four thousand hectares of sacred woodlands were conserved, above one hundred sacred wetlands of at least ten hectares were rehabilitated, and close to a thousand orchards of indigenous and exotic trees were established. However on this initiative, there was need to provide an alternative to fuel wood (which most rural people of Zimbabwe depend on for cooking, lighting, heating and processing) in order to achieve sustainable utilisation. Source...
N. Mudzingwa (Coordinator)
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