Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to impact tourism to, and businesses in and around Victoria Falls, Jafuta Foundation and the Rotary Club of Victoria Falls have continued to increase their efforts to provide support to local communities. The first three months of this year have seen incredible examples of the continued commitment to improving the livelihood of all those living in the region despite, the adversity that has taken place as a result of COVID-19.

Jafuta Foundation hit the ground running in January when they delivered 16 asbestos sheets and ridges to Ndimakule Primary School whose classrooms and teachers cottages had been impacted by a storm. Within a week they had repaired both the classroom and teachers cottages roofing in preparation for when Schools were to open again after the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions were lifted. January also saw the delivery of vegetable seeds to the urban and rural community gardens that had been set-up in 2020 in an effort to continue planting and supporting the community gardens, improving food security at household level. In addition to supporting the community gardens, Jafuta Foundation began a “Bee Keeping For Livelihoods” project, setting up 18 Bee Hives and catch boxes in a number of villages, allowing communities to begin producing their own honey for resale to residents in Victoria Falls and potentially further afield, and thereby generating an income to support households within the communities.

February saw the successful drilling and equipping of Jafuta Foundation’s 7th community borehole, allowing the Jembwe community to finally get access to safe water. In addition, the foundation began construction of a community empowerment centre for women and youth in Dibutibu to service the Chidobe Ward and surrounding areas, and managed to drill and equip yet another borehole which will provide them with water during the construction phase. The community empowerment centre will focus on skills development and training for a variety of fields including and not limited to, education, health, agriculture, entrepreneurship, tourism and vocational skills training.

Throughout this month, Jafuta Foundation in partnership with Rotary Club of Victoria Falls have been working hard to enhance and expand the community garden initiatives, whilst working with the communities to address challenges with water and sanitation. Both organisations have this last month been assisting a water and sanitation community driven initiative in the Chidobe Ward, to develop and build 1,000 toilets for the communities. On the 15th March, 430 bags of cement were delivered to Chidobe Ward, which will be used in the construction of toilets, and will allow for 86 households to have access to a toilet.

Yesterday the partnership between Jafuta Foundation and Rotary Club of Victoria Falls saw the delivery of fencing materials for the latest community garden set-up at Sizinda village on the outskirts of Victoria Falls. The community garden at Sizinda will be a 1 hectare garden that will benefit an estimated 40 households in the area.

What is certain is that the COVID-19 pandemic has not slowed down a number of the non-profit organisations in and around Victoria Falls, and instead these organisations have stepped up and stepped forward to ensure increased action to provide assistance towards goals for longer term sustainable empowerment and development within the communities.

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