Richard Tshili (75) of Mzimuni ward, Gwanda district has started live fencing of his fields.Tshili started implementing live fencing soon after his wife, who is a beneficiary in the Action World Solidarity funded project, “Resilience to the effects of Climate Change through IWRM in Southern Zimbabwe”, received training on IWRM approaches and rangeland management and shared her knowledge with him. The training sought to equip communities with knowledge on the importance of preserving forests and living fences. Richard used poison grub and corkwood to fence off 0,4ha of arable land. Corkwood has other benefits and can be used to make wooden carvings, farming implement handles and its roots are edible.

“Live fencing does not require much maintenance and is installed once unlike manufactured fences. I am now able to do other chores and spend more time with my family and more importantly I have saved a number of trees by not cutting them down for fencing poles”, said Richard Tshili.

Mr and Mrs Tshili not only contributed to increased infiltration through regrassing, but have planted a number of indigenous and exotic fruit trees in and around their homestead. They employ Climate Smart Agricultural principles which promote moisture and soil conservation leading to improved yields. Their fields have diverse contours and infiltration trenches to harness water for crops. They also dug a well to increase water to irrigate their vegetable garden and plant nursery. The household practices an integrated approach to water and land management that has the ability to improve the environment if applied  by all community members.