Dipping—More Than Just a Plunge
by UMCOR Zimbabwe*
The scope of UMCOR International Disaster Response will often include grants for projects and programs that strengthen communities along the lines of long-term sustainable development.
The UMCOR Zimbabwe office received an International Disaster Response (IDR) grant for a project to increase the capacity of communities affected by flooding during 2017. Because of the flooding, the vulnerable rural communities of the Binga, Kariba, and Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe (UMP) districts of the Mashonaland East Province lost livelihood capacity. The overall goal of UMCOR’s interventions was to rehabilitate 21 productive assets, mostly relating to water facilities and accessways damaged by floods.
The Magudu dip tank after rehabilitation in 2017, UMP of the Eastern Mashonaland Province. PHOTO: WALTER GUYO/UMCOR ZIMBABWE
The community of Magudu worked on dip tank rehabilitation through the IDR project. Functioning like a large flea bath for cattle, a quick swim through the dip tank protects cattle against disease-carrying ticks. The community worked together to accomplish the task. Today, more than 1,800 cattle belonging to 420 households use the completed dip tank to prevent tickborne diseases and protect livelihoods in a place where economic stability is tenuous.
Inside the Magudu rehabilitated plunge pool, a dip tank to keep cattle free of ticks. PHOTO: WALTER GUYO/UMCOR ZIMBABWE
UMCOR assisted the communities with construction materials and technical expertise for the maintenance of the drying pen and other related infrastructure. The chairperson for the Magudu dip tank project, Mr. Bomba, said that the maintenance of the dip tank will go a long way in reducing the prevalence of tick-borne diseases in the area. Household income will likely rise because healthy livestock will fetch better prices in the market.
An economic gain in milk and cattle sales and a decrease in cattle mortality have already been measured. According to the chairperson, the impact of dip tank rehabilitation on cattle production also includes an ability to carry out other management activities, such as deworming, castration, vaccinations, branding and dehorning, since the cattle are all gathered in the same place.
*From reports submitted by UMCOR Zimbabwe.
Copyright New World Outlook magazine, Spring 2018 issue. Used by permission. Email the New World Outlook editor for more information.