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openquote In Mutale, there were a lot of challenges before FireWise. The community was having problems with houses burning down. Since FireWise started, people started to understand how to manage fire. FireWise protects homes against fires and also helps the community to have something on their table. It changes the life of the poor. They are now employing disabled people to make the firebeaters, sharpen tools and so on. They have also filled potholes in the roads. closedquote            
           

openquote At first they found it difficult to build friendships with stakeholders like the tribes and chiefs. Now they are working with a senior chief who has fifty headmen, and they are starting to get a better understanding about the programme. They find that the programme does help communities. For instance, the grass is growing now, allowing animals to have food. Fruit trees are protected from fires now, so the street sellers have more money. The traffic department has also begun to understand what the programme is about – FireWise supplied fifty people to them to guard the road, chasing away stray animals. FireWise is going to be put on the municipality’s IDPs in future, which will help them. The municipality has invited FireWise to sit in on their meetings. The district Disaster Management Team called on them to explain the work of FireWise. FireWise has benefited landowners too. The FPA is using the FireWise Team as an incentive for people to join the FPA – if they do, they can get assistance from FireWise. closedquote

openquote Since they started the programme, some of the people who have been trained have managed to get decent jobs – they are disciplined and have certificates, and this has allowed them to move forward. closedquote

           
           

openquote During 2011, people only had 3 days of work per week. However, even when people are not working and fire breaks out, they will still do whatever they can to help the community. closedquote

openquote Access roads in Mutale have been widened, and landowners’ properties protected by firebreaks. Soil erosion has been reduced through using stones, but gabions are still needed. Natural forests have been protected and indigenous fruits can be harvested. Grass is growing and is available to feed animals. Ponds are fuller. Houses are protected through clearing areas, removing trees and reducing the fuel load. People have been taught that it is dangerous to burn fires next to homes. A beekeeping project has been started. Jobs have been provided to unemployed people and disabled people, and others are working as caterers and selling food. The project has done a lot for Mutale. closedquote            

 

 

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