In this year's Big Give Christmas Challenge, supporters helped to raise an amazing £83,443 (including Gift Aid) that will go towards building two sand dams and implement a range of environmental protection measures in southern Zimbabwe.

On behalf of the dryland communities we support, we'd like to say a big thank you to all supporters, donors, campaign partners (our pledgers and champion funder - The EQ Foundation) for their generosity.

About Zimbabwe

Southern Zimbabwe is an area experiencing severe land degradation and water scarcity.

In fact, evaluations from the communities we are currently working with in Zimbabwe demonstrated that 47% of them were able to collect less than half of the daily recommended minimum amount of water. Severe environmental challenges (including deforestation, climate change and land degradation) are further compounding the problem, leading to a decline in soil fertility and food availability, with chronic food shortages.

In 2018/19, 84% of the population in the region were affected by drought, and according to the UN’s World Food Programme, nearly 8 million people – half the population of Zimbabwe – are now facing food insecurity. In turn, vulnerable rural communities who rely on agriculture are increasingly experiencing high levels of poverty.

About sand dams

Sand dams offer a solution. They will provide year-round access to water, improving water security for an entire community for generations to come. What’s more, the community will be more resilient to climate change, as environmental conservation measures and woodland regeneration will help restore degraded land, enabling vegetation to flourish and creating more fertile land. Combined with increased water availability, farmers will be able to grow more food, providing a source of income so they can lift themselves out of poverty. You can watch how sand dams work here:

We hope that this demonstrates the tremendous impact that donations will have on these communities in southern Zimbabwe. And we look forward to sharing the impact and stories from the communities, stories such as these. Please stay tuned and stay in touch!

Missed our Big Give campaign? You can still give a dam! Click here to make a donation to Excellent so we can empower families in drylands to feed themselves and transform their own lives with sand dams

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