Food security has been provided to Rangers in 2021 through the re-establishment and management of fresh vegetable gardens at the remote Zimparks Mkanga Field Station in Chewore South Safari Area, at Kapirinhengu Field Station, Chewore North Safari Area, and at ZAVARU, the Zambezi Valley Reaction Unit in Mana Pools National Park. In the new season, gardens will be established also at Sapi Safari Area, G Camp Ranger Outpost, as well at Red Cliffs Ranger Outpost.
The produce provides Rangers with a source of vital vitamins and minerals whilst on anti-poaching patrols as well to the families of Rangers who are living on the stations. As well, the strong linkages of good Ranger health to patrol efficacy are highlighted. Soil preparation, refurbishments to the electric fencing, planting, and biologicals spraying of seedlings in all three gardens took place after ensuring that the solar-powered water supplies were in good order.
Trained Gardeners Dominic and Mr Tembo Senior tend the gardens each day at Mkanga and at Kapirinhengu, and at ZAVARU, the off-duty Rapid Response Unit Rangers have a roster system to undertake the gardening. They have all received updated training on the use of biological soil and pest controls. These vegetable gardens play a vital role in a holistic approach to wildlife protection adopted by Tashinga Initiative Trust and can never be underestimated. We ask and trust caring donors to proactively respond to this call for ongoing funding.