"The number of refugees at Tongogoara refugee camp in Zimbabwe is now close to 9,000. Many have travelled thousands of kilometres to reach it, all in search of a better life."
The camp at Tongogara is located about 500km south-east of the capital, Harare, and with support from UNHCR, GOAL been implementing livelihoods programming there since 2015 to help the community earn a living and become food secure.
At the end of September 2016, Zimbabwe officially hosted almost 8,900 refugees and asylum seekers. The figure has since increased to more than 10,600 after more people arrived from Mozambique. Most of the refugees and asylum seekers in Zimbabwe hail from the Democratic Republic of Congo (80 per cent), Burundi (8 per cent), and Rwanda (9 per cent).
Felix Musuna is one such refugee from DRC. A participant in GOAL’s piggery project, the 33-year-old from Kivu arrived in Zimbabwe in 2013. He is married with four children.
“Before joining the piggery project in 2016, I had seven pigs which were roaming around the camp and which I could not keep well and sell for high value,” he explained. “I also had a tuck-shop which closed down in 2014 due to lack of funds but the idea of business remained with me. After moving my pigs to improved housing, I was supported with marketing and animal health training by GOAL, in conjunction with the Government.
“Good pig management practices have changed my life. I am now able to keep my pigs well and market them for higher prices.”
During the start of the piggery project in 2016, GOAL was allocated land by the camp administrator’s office and went on to construct 28 pig structures for 15 farmers. The other 27 farmers built their own pig structures at the same site to enable the centralization of pig production and ease of management. Initially, farmers were provided with commercial feeds for free, and later asked to purchase subsidized feeds before being weaned off completely from input support.
“GOAL helped us with the purchase of the initial commercial feeds, but now we are able to stand on our own (buy our own feeds). Through better management and vaccination programmes, my pigs increased to 24, of which I have sold 16 and realized US$1,296. Thanks to the training provided by GOAL on financial management, I have been able to re-open my tuck- shop, as well as a salon.
“Since I joined the piggery project my life has changed significantly. I would like to extend many thanks to GOAL and UNHCR for their unrelenting support.”