Success Story – Ntabamhlope Primary - MASO
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Success Story – Ntabamhlope Primary


Ntabamhlope Primary School is an Adventist institution in Gweru district, Midlands province in Zimbabwe. The school has always been having inadequate water supply for both domestic and school garden projects and could not afford to drill a borehole due to poor economic status of its peasant community which rely mostly on rain water which is not always consistent. The school used to rely on a bush pump which usually runs dry during the hot season giving the challenge to the supply of water for domestic use to the school enrolment of 720 learners and staff compliment of 24. School garden projects had since been abandoned due to inadequate water supply. In other years the government of Zimbabwe through Social Welfare would provide grain for school feeding program.  E.C.D learners were more fortunate enough to get Maheu supplement from MASO through its previous projects even when the school was no longer receiving grain from the Social Welfare department.

Climate Smart Agriculture Project Launch

The year 2021 saw Ntabamhlope Primary School having a break through to this water challenge when MASO and TDH in collaboration with German government came to our rescue which saw the school benefitting on Climate Smart Agriculture project being implemented by MASO. The project was then launched by MASO at the school 08.09.21 where the Ward 4 councillor Mr Matshaya, a number of village heads, S.D.C and school administration were present and unanimously accepted the project. This has seen the school having a solar powered 90 m borehole, 5000 litre tank, 50 m by 50 m fenced open field, 12m by 10 m greenhouse within the fenced open field, drip irrigation kits for both open field and greenhouse, and start up tools and inputs for the project. This was done between September and December 2021. The main objective of the project being to support school feeding program targeting at least 250 infant and vulnerable learners. The project needed the school to establish an Eco –Club of 30 learners – 50% boys and 50% girls from Grade 4 to 6 with interest in Agriculture and/or being vulnerable, 3 patrons to assist the Eco-Club, cooks and 5 members from the community to form Production and Water Management Committee.  The school quickly put all these structures in place before the end of 2021 and MASO had to train them including S.D.C and school administration on how the program was to run in preparation for project kick off in January 2022.

Climate Smart Agriculture Project Take- Off 

The school started land preparations, the S.D.C had to engage all the village heads for Ntabamhlope Primary School to map the way forward. The meeting agreed to call a general parents meeting with the Responsible Authority Pastor Ntenezi and local leadership present. Strong sensitizing on the project was made on this meeting and the community agreed to support the program. The community was then involved to full capacity by providing labour, manure and security. Three quarters of whole open field fertility trenching was done by the community whilst one quarter was done by learners. This has seen parents taking the fertility trenching method back to their homes in their small gardens. After fertility trenching by the parents the management of the project was ceded to the Production and Water Committee, Eco-Club and school administration.

Ntabamhlope Primary School Climate Smart Agriculture

The coming of solar powered 90 m borehole, green house and drip irrigation system was a new development which the school never anticipated would happen in the back of the beyond. Crops like beans, cow peas, butternuts, green mealies, beetroots, king onions, carrots, lettuce, white cabbage, red cabbage, spinach, rape, peas and sweet potatoes were grown in the open field to the extent that we ended up extending the open field for the growing of maize for mealie – meal. We have also an orchard within the open field with various fruit trees.The green house had a powerful tomato with harvest time starting July 2022 to almost end of year when we had to put our green house at rest for January 2022. Learners and staff have benefitted greatly from this climate smart agriculture. Firstly the issue of fertility trenching and observing crops growing from them in their giant states was eye opening enough for one to practise it even in their backyard gardens at home. Then the drip system which directs water to the plant was a befitting system for places with water challenges like Ntabamhlope Primary School and its community. Finally the green house for learners and even some staff members has been known from reading books, now they had to see it, use it, tell others about it and dream to have it at their homes. Thank you Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for allowing MASO and TDH into our school. May the Almighty keep blessing their work! Ntababamhlope Primary School is no longer the Ntabamhlope Primary School of yesterday. Water challenge for both agriculture projects and domestic use is now a thing of the past.

School Feeding Program

Most of the produce from the open field and green house were mainly used to feed learners 3 times weekly since June 2022 to year end. It was interesting to see some carrots, beetroots and a variety of vegetables in the plates of learners during feeding time. We were also selling some produce to buy maize for mealie- meal. We ended up feeding the whole 720 learners for the school. When we started feeding we realised that access to education improved as learners were no longer absenting themselves and class concentration improved. Besides improving the nutritional status of learners, feeding time was a time of joy for most learners a platform to develop their social skills and a moment never to miss for a learner. It is our hope that as the project intensifies, we increase feeding days per week. From the surplus produce that was sold to the local community the school realised about 500 US dollars which was directed to the school feeding program.

Eco- Club And Its Activities

The life of Eco-Club members at Ntabamhlope Primary School was the one characterised by great interest and confidence. The members were trained by MASO field officers on ecological children’s rights, on climate smart agriculture and on keeping safe environment to name just a few. The three patrons led by Mr Nemera were always by their side to give necessary guidance. The Eco- Club members participated in quiz competitions and ball games activities with other sister schools with the same climate smart agriculture projects and their performance was found to be outstanding. The Eco- club members also had exchange programs, radio presentations, and tree planting day commemorations through actual planting of fruit trees at school. The participation of these members in various programs has seen them developing more and more confidence leading to the I can and finally we can as Ntabamhlope Primary hence their club name SIYAZAMA- We are trying.  Finally we shall be there. The club presentations have challenged also the staff members to continue guiding the whole school learners to reach their apex.

Project Diversification

The school has come to understand that climate smart agriculture has come as project seed to the institution which when taken care of should lead to the birth of a number of projects that are inter-dependent. We have therefore resolved as an institution to add one more project every year. For the year 2022 we have now ventured into fish farming starting small with breeding pond of just above 100 Mozambican Tilapia as of September 2022. The bigger pond for the breeding exercise is under construction as is expected to be ready by end January 2022.

Motivation And Encouragement

The secret of this success story among others is UNITY OF PURPOSE. Tribute is given to Ntabamhlope community, staff, learners and S.D.C for their unity of purpose on this project. External visits from MASO, TDH, Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education- Gweru District and other related stake holders has always been motivating and encouraging for they have always left commendations and recommendations. Finally we thank GOD the great enabler in this journey to excellence.

Compiled By:
Mudzingwa J
(School Head-Ntabamhlope Pry School 2022)
0712 947 372/0779 856 073

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