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Typically, traditional land, which is land given to individuals by chiefs is not titled.
One of the many beneficiaries of the project is Ms Foster Mwanza, headwoman of Gositini village in Nyimba. She lived in Lusaka most of her life before moving to Nyimba to look after her mother, as she was growing old. At the time she moved to Nyimba, her mother had two pieces of land but was encountering challenges of land encroachment, especially in her farmland. A few months after she arrived, Nyimba District Land Alliance was conducting meetings on how people could access title to land, and Ms Mwanza became one of the beneficiaries.
“Before I received title to the farmland, my mother and I faced challenges of people trying to encroach the land. Sometimes, they would go as far as starting to farm on it, but now I am able to show them that I am the legal owner of the land”, said Ms Foster Mwanza.
With this security, Ms Foster Mwanza is able to cultivate her land. She grows maize in the rainy season that she uses to feed her family. She is also part of a farmer group that Nyimba District Land Alliance supports with farming inputs for a vegetable garden. The Alliance has been training farmers such as Headwoman Foster Mwanza on sustainable farming practices.
Through the support of WWF and the Zambia Governance Foundation, in 2020 the Nyimba District Land Alliance continued to educate farmers on more sustainable methods of farming that do not use chemical fertilizers, in order to prevent the pollution of rivers. The result was also a noticeable reduction in the number of trees being cut, as community members saw the importance of trees and there connection to water. Farmers have begun to practice conservation agriculture and find alternative incomes to charcoal production such as; livestock production, gardening and joining savings groups.
By Nchimunya K Banda/WWF