‘Vimbo – Hope for a better future’
Green Fuel has a robust Corporate Social Responsibility program that is immensely benefitting the local community called ‘Vimbo – Hope for a better future’. Through Vimbo, we have introduced a portfolio of community projects, all of which have been constructed around the principle of sustainable development through irrigation farming, entrepreneurial projects, education and social service infrastructure rehabilitation.
The program revolves around three major principles that we strongly believe in:
1. Sustainable Development
3. Social Equity
In line with these principles, the majority of our projects are centred around setting up businesses, sustainable farming practices, training and education. We encourage projects and principles that will continue to exist into the future without significant involvement from the Company.
- Development of 500ha of irrigation schemes for small-scale farmers
- Development of 600ha and constant provision of support for local outgrower farmers
- Input Schemes and contract farming
- A sewing workshop which is run by a group from the local community – Manna Creative Fashions
- A library and technology centre, opened in partnership with Old Mutual to provide the local students and community members with computer lessons and access to books
- A workshop set up to make Re-usable Sanitary Pads to be purchased by the company and then donated to the community – Dermal Care
- A bee-keeping project with a group from the local community – The Blessed Honey Makers
- A large indigenous tree nursery on site in Chisumbanje with a view to educating the community about the importance of reforestation
- Three community-run kitchens to provide food for our factory and agricultural staff.
- A large-scale sponsorship project whereby the company will pay for 100 students’ school fees in the surrounding community.
- Setting up of businesses, sustainable farming practices, training and education.
- Fencing projects
Chisumbanje and Middle Sabi are areas in the Province of Manicaland, Zimbabwe, situated within the Chipinge District. The Chipinge District has historically been considered one of the least developed in Zimbabwe, nicknamed ‘Mugowa’ (semi-desert), with extremely low incomes and difficult dry land farming fuelling migration into South Africa. Middle Sabi and Chisumbanje are situated between Regions 4 and 5, meaning that both areas receive low annual rainfall and are subject to seasonal droughts. Region 5 is classified as the driest region in Zimbabwe, with rainfall being less than 650mm/year and highly erratic.
Prior to the ethanol project, Chipinge district, particularly Chipinge South where the factory is located, was considered one of the least developed areas in Zimbabwe owing to the harsh region 5 climatic conditions which are characterised by very low rainfall and high temperatures.
Currently, up to US$2 million is injected into Chipinge South every month in the form of salaries and procurement finance, which has resulted in significantly increased commercial traffic.
Banks and cell phone towers have opened in Checheche – a growth point neighbouring Chisumbanje that has since been granted town status due to the ethanol project. Local businesses are thriving and social services such as healthcare facilities, roads, churches and schools are being refurbished and revived by Green Fuel.