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The Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) and rural development in Zimbabwe's marginal areas: A study in sustainability

Ignatius Mberengwa, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This study assesses how indigenous rural communities sharing marginal areas with wildlife in Gutsa and Chapoto CAMPFIRE Wards are benefiting from government development efforts aimed at improving their livelihoods. The study further investigates how the Vadema of Chapoto, a former foraging small-scale indigenous community, is benefiting from such efforts. An analysis of how indigenous people of Zimbabwe were dispossessed of their lands during the colonial era, and the subsequent post-independence efforts at land redistribution is related to this investigation. ^ Information for the study was obtained by using both a questionnaire and secondary sources. The questionnaire contained enquiries about household and homestead characteristics, institutional facilities, agricultural activities, and resource utilization in the Wards. Biophysical and other related data were obtained from secondary sources. Interviews were also conducted with major stakeholders in the CAMPFIRE Wards. ^ Findings of the study were: (1) The land issue is an ongoing one, with the resettlement program stalled by the shortage of funds to purchase land Both the British and Zimbabwean governments still have to agree on new modalities of compensating landowners of farms designated for resettling the landless peasants. (2) In Chapoto Ward, the prevalence of hoe-culture, lack of inputs such as fertilizers, and lack of agricultural extension services. and credit facilities have resulted in low levels of agricultural production. The Vadema had the lowest agricultural production levels. They were also marginalized in the provision of infrastructure in the Ward. (3) In Gutsa Ward, the relatively high levels of agricultural production were attributed to use of improved tilling implements, access to loans, and use of fertilizer. (4) CAMPFIRE improved wildlife conservation and relatively benefited households through the provision of social infrastructure and wildlife dividend shares. However, crop loss due to wildlife and the lack of compensation for the affected households strained the relations between wildlife and households. (5) Other forest resources such as wild fruits, honey, clay for pots, and timber play an important complementary role to the households' well being. ^

Subject Area

Geography|Agriculture, Forestry and Wildlife|Environmental Sciences

Recommended Citation

Mberengwa, Ignatius, "The Communal Areas Management Program for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) and rural development in Zimbabwe's marginal areas: A study in sustainability" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9967417.