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Zimbabwean staff say Practical Action work now more vital than ever

Practical Action staff in Zimbabwe are appealing for the UK public to support for their work after warning the impact of climate change will hit the country in the coming months.

The appeal comes amid reports of protests at increased fuel prices and shortages.

Chief Executive of Practical Action, Paul Smith-Lomas said: “We are concerned about the current situation - especially its impact on the poorest and most vulnerable communities and will be monitoring the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe closely as it develops. We hope it comes to a positive and peaceful conclusion as soon as possible.”

“We are always committed to ensuring the safety and welfare of both our staff and the communities we work with. Only long-term development work like ours which enables the poorest communities to become self-sufficient will help Zimbabwe recover.

Practical Action staff in Zimbabwe are also warning of an impending humanitarian crisis following the driest Christmas season in years.

The crisis is due to hit the 120,000 people living in the rural districts of Gwanda and Bulilima in the south-west of the country. Many will face chronic food shortages in the coming months after rains failed to arrive in November and December 2018, meaning farmers weren’t able to plant crops at the usual time.

Innocent Katsande, from Practical Action’s Harare office said: “I can’t remember the last time we had a dry Christmas in Zimbabwe. These affected communities will be entirely reliant on food aid from this month onwards.

“Farmers have finally begun planting crops this week after three days of rain, but this is too little too late and there simply won’t be enough food for people to feed their families.”

“We need more projects like ours to help people cope when the rains fail so they are still able to irrigate their land and grow food to feed themselves and earn a living. Thousands of people in the driest parts of southern Zimbabwe could be affected by this crisis and the international community needs to take action now.”

Practical Action is appealing to the UK public to help farmers and their families in the region combat the effects of climate change, double their harvests and become self-sufficient through the organisation’s unique combination of ingenious thinking, knowledge-sharing and skills building.

The Planting for Progress project combines education and training, new seed types, co-ordination of crops and solar-powered water pumps which provide enough water for farmers to irrigate their land. Combining all these inputs mean they can grow double the amount of crops and feed others in their community.

Every pound donated until March 8 2019 will be matched by the UK Government, meaning you will be helping even more people like those in rural Zimbabwe.

For more information or to make a donation, please visit 


  • environment
  • protests
  • zimbabwe
  • poverty
  • climate change

Press contacts

Andy Heath

Press contact Engagement manager Practical Action external relations, energy, urban sanitation, disasters, agriculture + 44 (0) 1926 634 552 (office)

Abbie Wells

Press contact Press & Media Officer, Practical Action + 44 (0) 1926 634 510 (office)

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