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Visual artists’ Brazilian dream needs push – The Herald

Kundai Marunya

Arts Correspondent

A group of visual artists who are travelling to Brazil for a cultural exchange programme this week are appealing for funds to cover travel costs.

The group of four artists and one media personnel travelling under the banner of Hillock Arts Foundation, an organisation that teaches art in underprivileged communities, were scheduled to leave the country last Thursday for two weeks, but had to postpone to this week to raise at least US$6 000 for return air fares.

The artists are travelling at the invitation of Instituto ReggArte, a collective of artists and professionals that organises social events and cultural campaigns to collect food, clothes and toys to help underprivileged communities.

The institution has a reach of around 170 families which they also assist with cultural activities and occupational therapy.

In an invitation letter seen by Herald Arts, Instituto ReggArte cultural producer Nair Omena da Costa said her organisation will not be assisting the artists with travel expenses.

“Our work aims to promote the visibility of artists with disabilities and as we survive on donations from partners we will not be able to support the expenses regarding this cultural exchange,” wrote da Costa.

“It will be of great value for us to have you here and we kindly ask you to find a sponsor to provide the necessary costs for your stay.”

Hillock Arts Foundation founder and president Raphael Jamu said they received assistance from the Brazilian Ambassador, but still fell short of travel funds.

“The Ambassador of Brazil to Zimbabwe His Excellency Vilmar R Coutinho Jr has been very helpful,” said Jamu.

“He assisted us with courtesy visas and went out of his way to fund part of the trip, showing his commitment towards cultural exchange between Zimbabwe and Brazil.

“We are, however, still falling short of finances to cover the trip, especially air fares, and we are appealing to well-wishers for assistance.”

Hillock recently held an exhibition to raise funds but failed to make any money as most went towards expenses of putting together the show.

Jamu said they had many pledges that went unfulfilled.

“We had been promised funds by different sources, but we have not yet received anything, thus postponing our travel by a week, hoping something will pun out,” he said.

“Since postponing, we have approached different corporates and Government officials, and we pray and hope the funds will be raised.

“We are even willing to be offered work in exchange for the funds.”

Jamu is a renowned artist who has done portraits for top Government officials, including President Mnangagwa, the First Lady, Minister of Sports, Arts and Recreation Dr Kirsty Coventry, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Dr John Mangudya, the late South African revolutionary icon Nelson Mandela and Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, among others.

Travelling with Jamu are Lydia Molai, a young artist who majors in landscape and portraits, Winston Thulani Mudumo, who has an amazing talent for painting and jewellery and Message Pikitayi, an educator who also doubles as the foundation’s administrator.

Jamu said the opportunity was too big to miss.“We are at a time we need to improve our global participation, not only as artists but as Zimbabwe, and representing Zimbabwe in Brazil, one of the world’s fastest rising economies is a great opportunity we really can’t afford to miss,” he said.

Hillock Arts Foundation’s visit to Brazil comes soon after Ambassador Coutinho Jr pronounced cultural exchange as one of the key point he will work towards during his stay in Zimbabwe.

“For the past 12 months I have made several important contacts in this country from which I hope, several bilateral exchanges will be developed in several areas including agriculture, mining, trade and investments, renewable energies and cultural and education exchanges,” he said during a recent celebration of his country’s 201st National day celebration.

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Sadc to tackle water resources management – The Herald

Thupeyo Muleya

Beitbridge Bureau

SADC and its partners are set to discuss strategies to enhance water resources management in the region at the 10th River Basin Organisations and Shared Watercourse Institutions set for Mozambique next month.

The regional organisation, in collaboration with the Limpopo Watercourse Commission (LIMCOM), and with the technical support of the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA) will have high level discussions between October 2 and 4.

So far, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe which share the Limpopo River Basin, have since re-affirmed the need to collaborate and promote sustainable development of the basin.

Stakeholders from the four nations made the commitment following a series of in-country meetings organised by the LIMCOM to appraise their governments on the implementation of the project.

In a statement yesterday, the Limpopo Watercourse Commission said the water meeting will be held in a hybrid format, and that the physical event will be hosted in Maputo by the Government of Mozambique through the Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources.

“The theme of the meeting is: Promoting water security through inclusive transboundary conjunctive management and development of water resources,” read part of the media statement.

“This meeting aims to facilitate the exchange of ideas that will enhance effective transboundary water resources planning, development, and management in the region while ensuring environmental sustainability and resilience.

“The target is to improve regional water security towards poverty reduction, and increase regional integration, economic productivity, and industrialisation”.

The meeting is also intended to support the efforts of SADC member states regarding the establishment, institutional development, and strengthening of organisations managing shared river and water resources.

It is envisaged that the platform will build the capacity of member states on other transboundary water resources development and management mechanisms.

The participants are also expected to exchange notes on the best practices on establishing flood forecasting and early warning systems and decision support systems in the SADC region.

“This meeting is a biennial event, which is organised with the aim of engaging river basin organisations as a vehicle for strengthening regional integration and cooperation.

“It also serves as a forum for authorities to share experiences and learn from each other”.

The water resources management indaba will among other things be used to build consensus on the region’s strategic approaches being promoted by SADC to increase water security and resilient development in the region.

This year’s event will bring together representatives of many role players that include development finance institutions, international financiers, climate funds, official development assistance funders and private financiers.

LIMCOM said some participants will be drawn from SADC’s key sectors including energy, food security and trade.

Already Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe have had in-country meetings to appraise their governments on the implementation of the transboundary river basin management project.

LIMCOM executive secretary Mr Sergio Sitoe said recently that the in-country meetings were a huge success.

“Such interactions are critical in promoting ownership of the project and its successful implementation,” he said.

“The Limpopo river basin is one of the major river basins in southern Africa, and it is shared by four countries: Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe”.

Its catchment area is estimated at 408 000 square kilometres and the basin has a population of over 18 million people.

The river flows north from South Africa, where it creates the border between South Africa and Botswana and then the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe, before crossing into Mozambique and draining into the Indian Ocean.

In addition, the basin supports diverse socio-economic activities in the four states including agroindustry, large-scale irrigation, rain-fed subsistence agriculture, mining, eco-tourism, and hosts some of the world’s foremost protected areas.

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US$3,4 bn livestock sector target on course – The Herald

Precious Manomano

Herald Reporter

Efforts to improve the livestock sector continue to gather traction with farmers working hand in glove with experts to implement measures that are aimed at boosting productivity so that the sector meets its new target of US$3,4 billion by 2025.

The Government is expecting the livestock industry to grow by US$3,4 billion by 2025 after the sector makes positive strides in improving productivity and combating cattle mortality following the outbreak of tick-borne diseases which ravaged almost half a million of cattle since 2016.

The sector was targeting US$2billion by 2025 so in 2021 the livestock industry was worth US$1,1 billion and now its US$1,5 billion — a 36 percent growth.

In 2020, Government approved the Livestock Recovery and Growth Plan (2021-2026), whose main thrust is to put in place solid interventions to address livestock production and productivity issues that lay a good foundation for the livestock sector to assume its prominent role in transforming farmers’ livelihoods and providing the required raw materials for agriculture-led industrial development, among other things.

These will culminate in an increase in livestock production and productivity, strengthened animal disease surveillance and control systems.

Farmers have hailed Government efforts to protect the national herd from tick-borne diseases that have killed nearly 500 000 cattle in the rainy seasons in the past few years.

This prompted the Government to institute measures to avert the situation and this included increasing its budget towards the fight against the January disease.

Zimbabwe is moving ahead on several fronts to fight tick-borne diseases by building, rebuilding and renovating dip tanks as well as manufacturing vaccines.

It is also accelerating plans to build the national herd to six million this year in line with the country’s agricultural growth recovery plan to meet national demand for meat and dairy products, and then to resume export trade.

This requires not just breeding more cattle, but also ensuring that none are killed by disease.

Currently, the national herd stands at 5,6 million and various measures have been put in place to improve the quality of livestock including artificial insemination which involves cross breeding with semen from selected quality bulls and vaccination programmes.

A blitz tick-grease programme under the Presidential Inputs Scheme has also been a major boost in the fight against January disease and the programme will continue this season.

Farmers are keen to see the dip tanks back and are participating in the rehabilitation of all non-functional dip tanks. They are working hard to protect their cattle from tick-borne diseases.

A farmer in Macheke, Mr Taurai Mangwiro has embarked on renovating dip tanks so that farmers can take their cattle for dipping. He said farmers risk losing cattle to diseases that arise from not dipping their animals, hence the decision to construct dip tanks in the area.

“It is important for farmers to appreciate the Government’s effort of issuing subsidised dipping chemicals as they go a long way in the fight against ticks and tick-borne diseases.

“We want to thank our fellow farmers and the Government for the vision to construct dip tanks to reduce tick-borne diseases.”

Mrs Maggy Munyoro of Zvimba said it is critical for farmers to continue working hand in hand with authorities to ensure that livestock is protected from tick-borne diseases.

“This is a critical issue which must not be ignored because we lost thousands of cattle due to tick-borne diseases. The majority of us were left with nothing, hence we appreciate the Government’s efforts to provide material which we are using to safeguard the livestock,” she said.

The Government intends to construct 5 000 dip tanks by 2025.

Tobacco Farmers Union Trust vice president Mr Edward Dune said Government’s efforts to protect the national herd were greatly appreciated, adding that there was a great improvement shown so far in safeguarding cattle from tick-borne diseases.

“We can now feel a great improvement in our national herd. We lost thousands of cattle in the past few years due to tick-borne diseases, but today we are celebrating these efforts. These deaths are very low. In Manicaland we are still safe. Farmer awareness campaigns are helping a lot. We thank the Veterinary Department for providing enough information on the importance of dipping to our farmers. We also expect this to happen in other areas,’’ he said.

 Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers Association Trust president Mrs Depinah Nkomo said Government’s efforts so far reflected its commitment towards improving the agricultural sector.

“We lost thousands of livestock in the sector for the past years, but now cattle mortality has significantly dropped. We are grateful, the Government is working hard to ensure that our livestock are well protected,’’ she said.

Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development permanent secretary Dr John Basera indicated that there is great improvement in the livestock sector, adding that it is growing at good rate two to three percent per year.

“Livestock agricultural growth plan has been reviewed to US$3,4 billion. In 2021 it sought a $2 billion livestock economy by 2025 and was reviewed upwards. So the livestock economy contributes 20 percent of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP). We need to make sure that we grow our national herd to grow our livestock economy. Our livestock has been growing since the advent of the rolling out of the Livestock Recovery Growth Plan. Mortality rate is going down to 13 percent prior to 2020 and now to about 6 percent, that is cattle mortality rate per year so this is some incredible work,’’ he said.

In 2021 January disease dropped by 47 percent, then the following year it dropped by 37 percent.

Dr Basera indicated that the ministry is promoting the production of small stock as part of the war chest to adapt to climate change, effects and vulnerabilities.

‘’We are promoting the production of goats and sheep so that at least we stand a chance and mitigate the vagaries of climate change. The small stock is climate smart. Under this we have the Presidential Goat Scheme and poultry programme. We are targeting 6 million herd this year and by 2025 our target is 8 million. We have particular programmes of trying to climate proof our livestock through the adoption and promotion of small stock,’’he said.

Government was concerned with the level of performance of the livestock sector and it promulgated a blueprint to address all areas that were limiting growth.

Observed challenges were associated with animal health, sanitary and feed, safety issues, availability of adequate nutrition, genetics access to infrastructure suitable for accessing lucrative domestic, regional and international markets.

These challenges are responsible for the low off-take, low fertility, high mortality and morbidity, low carcass weight, poor quality and inability to effectively compete on the export market.

The goal is to reduce livestock mortality, for more productive livestock systems that are adapted to meet the incessant drought events caused by climate change.


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Three Countries Commit to Safe, Secure and Peaceful Use of … – International Atomic Energy Agency

IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi and A.T Chikondo, Secretary for Project Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation, in the Office of the President and Cabinet of the Republic of Zimbabwe. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Mr A.T. Chikondo, Secretary for Project Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation, in the Office of the President and Cabinet of the Republic of Zimbabwe, deposited six instruments on behalf of Zimbabwe.

One of these was the instrument of accession to the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage, which aims to establish some minimum standards to provide financial protection against damage resulting from certain peaceful uses of nuclear energy.

Instruments of accession were also deposited to the Joint Protocol Relating to the Application of the Vienna Convention and the Paris Convention and the Protocol to Amend the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage. Since the objectives of the Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage are largely mirrored in the Paris Convention on Third Party Liability in the Field of Nuclear Energy, the Joint Protocol aims to establish treaty relations between the two Conventions, and to eliminate conflicts that may arise from the simultaneous application of both Conventions to the same nuclear incident.

During the event, Zimbabwe also acceded to the Convention on Nuclear Safety and accepted the Amendment to the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material as well as the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Atomic Energy Agency. The Agreement, approved by the Board of Governors in 1959, grants immunity to the Agency, its property and assets from legal processes, and gives the Agency the capacity to contract, acquire and dispose of property and institute legal proceedings.

Zimbabwe , which utilizes nuclear technologies in health, agriculture and research, had previously committed to four more multilateral treaties in nuclear safety and security at the Treaty Event during IAEA’s 65th regular session of the General Conference in 2021.

The Treaty Event, convened annually by the IAEA’s Office of Legal Affairs during the annual General Conference, aims to promote universal adherence to the most important multilateral treaties for which the Director General of the IAEA is depositary, and provide an opportunity to Member States to deposit instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

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