From Grass roofs to Iron Sheets – Investing in Community Development

Vulnerable to catching fire while cooking, the penetration of malaria-carrying mosquitos, and at risk of collapsing during Zambia’s volatile rainy season, for so many communities who reside in rural parts of the country, despite its susceptibility, grass thatching is the most affordable form of roofing.

Shimunguwo Village Action Group of Shikabeta Chiefdom has changed this for the 136 Households in Chamanyonga Village. One of the 12 Chiefdoms that partner with BCP and Zambian Government under the Luangwa Community Forests Project (LCFP), Shikabeta Community Resource Board has used income from Forest Carbon Fees in 2021 to invest in iron sheets for its people.

Ngonya Tembo of Chamanyonga Village explains what this means to her family,

“Each household received IBR iron sheets to roof our houses with. This investment will make such a big difference in our lives. It provides us with security from the weather and outside factors that can easily enter through the grass. I won’t be fearful of the grass roof catching fire if the wind changes suddenly while we cook on an open stove anymore.

I spend many hours walking great distances to collect grass to maintain the upkeep of the roof. This investment is a durable one that gives me that time back to focus more on the farming of our plot, and to look for other opportunities to help my family.”

REDD+ is a framework created by the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) to guide activities in the forest sector that reduces emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as the sustainable management of forests and the conservation and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries. It aims at the implementation of activities by national governments to reduce human pressure on forests that result in greenhouse gas emissions at the national level.

Supporting the largest REDD+ project in the world by hectares, the LCFP helps to conserve over 1 million hectares of vital wildlife legacy landscapes in the Luangwa to Lower Zambezi valleys, delivers life-changing impacts to 217,000 beneficiaries through direct cash payments from forest carbon fees, and has an annual carbon emissions reduction rate of 1.6 million tons!

Find out more about the LCFP’s award-winning REDD+ Project at https://biocarbonpartners.com/ or drop us an email at hello@biocarbonpartners.com

Photos by Muswema Henry Chanda

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