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Indigenous Knowledge Program for Development


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Knowledge Pack : Mozambique

This Knowledge Pack contains Indigenous Knowledge cases and other useful information related to Mozambique. The indigenous knowledge pack is a tool that provides users with quick access to synthesized information by country or selected thematic area.

For more Information on the
Indigenous Knowledge Program
please contact: Reinhard Woytek

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IK Cases

Agriculture

Farmers apply a variety of ridging techniques) for soil and water conservation.

Conflict Resolution

Totemism provides a unifying bond for people for peaceful coexistence of communities and a starting point for joint developmental efforts.

Traditional, local institutions ensure for peaceful land reallocation process in post-conflict Mozambique

Health

Post Stress Traumatic Syndrome Treatment Process in post-war Mozambique through local healers.

AIDS prevention through involving traditional healers in awareness campaigns.

Traditional values and myths prevent contamination of sweet water springs.

 

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Farmers apply a variety of ridging techniques) for soil and water conservation.

Summary: Ngare or Mhindu ridging is a technique of forming a continuos lump of elevated earth mount during cultivation. Seeds are sown on top and other crops are broadcast at random in a mixed fashion. The ridges check erosion and conserve water. Ngare ridges are built across the field to reduce the speed of rainwater and run-off. At the same time they do not amass the water with the danger of braking the ridges. They channel excess water into grass-covered edges of the field. Studies have shown that ngare or mhindu ridging are superior to contour ridges on steep slopes. Another type of ridging is the miwundo raised bed. Raised beds are especially made for sweet potatoes to drain out excess water in wetlands cultivation. Ridging has proved to be very effective in maintaining the required water balance needed for different varieties of crops even under mixed cultivation. The plants requiring more water are grown in the lower strips where water is abundant, whereas those that need less water are grown on top of the ridge which is well drained.

Lesson: Scientists have learned from these techniques, develop them further, e.g. into "tied ridges" and disseminated them to other regions in Africa.

Source:ZIRCIK, Sadomba W.Z., The Impact of Settler Colonization on Indigenous Knowledge in Agriculture, Wageningen. (1999) Hagmann J. et al. 1996, in Reij C. et al. (eds.), Sustaining the soil: Indigenous soil and water conservation in Africa, Earthscan.

Contact: wsadomba@africaonline.co.zw

 

 

 


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Totemism provides a unifying bond for people for peaceful coexistence of communities and a starting point for joint developmental efforts.

Summary: A study on coping mechanisms in the north eastern part of Zimbabwe observed that during wars and famines, communities of Mozambique and Zimbabwe have sought and provided mutual refuge, shared resources and even provided for education of each others' children. Their relationships were determined by common totems. A totem is a symbol that represents the identity of a given group of people that share the same genealogy as a clan. The totem becomes a respected object or phenomenon of nature by the people who hold it sacred, acting as a binding force of individuals and groups of people. This could be a mammal, a bird, a fish or a reptile. A person's life is regulated by rules and behavioral patterns centered around the philosophy of totem. For example, in exogamous cultures, people of the same totem would not marry because they are considered sister and brother. In some communities, a deceased would not be buried without the participation of at least someone who shares the same totem as the mother of that deceased. The values and beliefs of totems help to unite people and give them identity. The local community gains from appreciating their relationship with their neighbors and other communities.

Lesson: Professionals working with communities need to understand the mechanisms and values manifested in totemism for development programs or peace efforts in conflict zones.

Source: ZIRCIK

Contact: wsadomba@africaonline.co.zw

 


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Traditional, local institutions ensure for peaceful land reallocation process in post-conflict Mozambique.

Summary: Following the peace agreement in 1992, about one third of the population - approximately five mil-lion Mozambicans - including refugees and internally displaced people, returned to their villages over a two year period. Many of them had been away from their villages for ten or fifteen years. Meanwhile other displaced people had occupied their dwellings and agricultural plots. To accommodate the returnees with productive land or housing without depriving the new settlers of their livelihoods required a large-scale re-distribution of land. Conservative estimates assume that 500,000 land transactions took place during a two-year period, about a quarter of a million transactions per year. These transactions were all carried out at the local level by local and/ or traditional authorities using indigenous knowledge and local capacity. No external assistance of any kind from government, donors or NGOs was involved. This massive and rapid land allocation process permitted the Mozambican small holders to re-launch economic growth based on a dramatic increase of agricultural production. Two years after this unique land allocation program, there were no reports of land conflicts except in cases where government had allocated communal lands to outside
business interests.

Lesson: Large scale land re-allocation based on customary law proved to be faster, cheaper and less prone for conflicts.

Source: Roberto Chavez, Resident Representative of the World Bank in Maputo from 1993 to 1997

Contact: rchavez@worldbank.org


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Post Stress Traumatic Syndrome Treatment Process in post-war Mozambique through local healers.

Summary: During the war in Mozambique there were over a million military and civilian deaths. At the time of the 1992 peace agreement about 90,000 combatants had survived. Both sides had inflicted brutality and horror on each other. Atrocities such as children soldiers being forced to kill their own families to ensure their loyalty to rebels, were quite common. The war left a traumatic and shocking legacy among civilians and combatants alike. No practicing psychotherapists were in the country for a for-mal Post Stress Traumatic Syndrome Treatment Process (PSTS) of any kind. Instead, traditional healers were doing a great deal of PSTS treatment following the war. Indeed, children soldiers, being cared for by foreign NGOs, were frequently brought to traditional healers for therapy. Although there are no statistics on the number of cases treated, the Association of Traditional Healers of Mozambique, (AMETRAMO) stated, healers' workload of what was referred to as 'mental cases due to the war' had increased dramatically after the peace agreement. The process for treatment of these cases involves complex and lengthy rituals that vary from one ethnic group to another. However, they all have some features in common. These features include recognizing and accepting the atrocities committed or suffered from, asking forgiveness of the spirit of the victim or victims, as well as of their surviving family members, and compensating the victims or their families, usually with livestock or other goods. Similarities with western approaches to PSTS therapy were observed.

Lesson: There is great potential in local solutions in disaster and post conflict situations that can be made use of in disaster relief operations.

Source: Roberto Chavez, Resident Representative of the World Bank in Maputo from 1993 to 1997; Dr. James Gordon, director Center for Mind-Body Medicine.

External Link: IK Notes no. 10 , IK Notes no. 33,

Contact: rchavez@worldbank.org




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AIDS prevention through involving traditional healers in awareness campaigns.

Summary: Ethno-medical research in Mozambique has deepened biomedical understanding of beliefs and practices related to sexually transmitted diseases (STD) in Southern Africa, and assisted in the de-sign of culturally meaningful AIDS communication strategies. The resulting AIDS/STD prevention programs have attempted to teach biomedical concepts to traditional healers by using symbols, metaphors and etiological concepts already in use to explain familiar, locally recognized sexually transmitted illnesses. This has aided greatly in healers' understanding of unfamiliar biomedical concepts and has laid the groundwork for how traditional healers will promote behavior change among their clients, as well as new technologies such as condoms.

Lesson: Involvement of traditional knowledge workers (healers) in awareness creation in a psychologically and socially sensitive area like sexuality has a higher impact at a lower cost.

Source: Green, E.C. Tropical Doctor, Supl. 1, p.1-4, 1997: Participation of traditional healers in AIDS prevention programs.

Contact: wsadomba@africaonline.co.zw

 


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  Traditional values and myths prevent contamination of sweet water springs.

Summary: There are various indigenous ways of protecting water sources in central and eastern parts of Zimbabwe and western Mozambique. One of them is to prohibit members of a community to indiscriminately use their household utensils to fetch water from a source. It is not allowed to use pots, cups, or buckets from the users' homes. Rather, members of the community use a special gourd (mukombe) which is permanently kept at the spring for only this purpose. Mukombe has a very long handle, which safely prevents the hands or fingers (of the person fetching water) from dipping into the spring, thus avoiding a potential contamination hazard. Taboos and customs enforce compliance.

Lesson: Ownership of water and sanitation programs may increase if project planners acknowledge and appreciate existing customs that work in favor of sustainable use and maintenance of such facilities.

Source: ZIRCIK.

Contact: wsadomba@africaonline.co.zw

 


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Local IK Sources

 

Ministerio da Saude
(National Health Institute - Dept. of Traditional Medicine)
Dr. Felisbela Gaspar
Av. Ed. Mondlane/Salvador Allende
Caixa Postal 264
Maputo - Mocambique
Tel: 2581-427131/4 ext. 273
Fax: 2581-431103
Email: gaspar@cdins.uem.mz

ARPAC - Arquivo do Patrimonio Cultural
(Archives of Cultural Heritage - Ministry of Culture)
Herminia Manuense
Directora Geral Adjunta
Rua de Bagamoyo No. 201
Maputo - Mocambique
Tel: 2581-431366/430165

UNAC - Uniao Nacional de Camponeses
(National Union of Peasants)
Renaldo Chingore Joao
Vice-Presidente
Rua Valentim Siti No. 39 R/C
Maputo - Mocambique
Tel: 2581-306737
Fax: 2581-306738
Email: ugcapm@mail.tropical.co.mz

DNER
(National Extension Directorate, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development)
Francisco Joao Mbebe
Geografo
Maputo - Mozambique
Tel: 2581-460280/460011/6
Fax: 2581-460027

INIA (Instituto Nacional de Investigacao Agronomica)
Ricardo Marcos de Jesus Maria
Agronomo
Caixa Postal 3658
Av. Das FPLM 2698
Mavalane, Maputo 8
Mocambique
Tel: 2581-460097/130 (Office) or 415341 (Res.)
Fax: 2581-460074

DNFFB (Direccao Nacional de Florestas e Fauna Bravia
(National Directorate for Forestry and Wildlife)
Dr. Estevao Filimao
Perito Nacional
Ministerio da Agrcultura e Desenvolvimento Rural
Praca dos Herois mocambicanos
UMC-DNFFB, 2nd andar
CP 1928
Maputo - Mocambique
Tel: 2581-460548
Fax: 2581-460060
Email: filimao@dnffb.imoz.com

HELVETAS
(Swiss NGO)
Mateus J. Muthemba
Official de Projecto
Av. Ahmed Sekou Toure, 637
Maputo - Mocambique
Tel: 2581-421595
Fax: 2581-421596
Email: helvetasmat@mail.tropical.co.mz

ADPP (Ajuda de Desenvolvimento de Povo Para Povo)
(NGO working on HIV/AIDS)
Birgit Holm
Directora Geral
CP 489
Machava
Maputo - Mocambique
Tel: 2581-750102/106
Fax: 2581-750107
Email:
adppmz@teledata.mz

 

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Bank Projects

Transfrontier Conservation Areas Pilot and Institutional Strengthening Project

The Trans-Frontier Conservation Areas (TFCA) project is a Bank supported initiative to promote natural resource management in southern Africa. The goal of this project is to assist the government to create enabling policies, activities and institutional framework for rehabilitating, conserving and managing its unique biodiversity and natural resource endowments in three transfrontier conservation areas. The project will contribute to poverty reduction by assisting local communities inside and around the conservation areas, through capacity building. Land and natural resource security measures and small scale conservation and development activities.

 

 

 


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Bank Sources

Indigenous Knowledge for Development Link to the Homepage of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

Database of Indigenous Knowledge and Practices Link to the Database of Practices of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

IK Notes Newsletter Link to the IK Notes of the Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program of the Africa Region

An Introduction to the Microfinance Institutions Contact List

 

External Sources

Register for Best Practices in Indigenous Knowledge Link to the database of Best Practices of UNESCO

Nuffic/CIRAN IK Development Monitor and Addresses of Other IK Centers Link to the Addresses of Other IK Centers and CIRAN's IK-Pages

Please send feedback or comments to mailto:%20rwoytek@worldbank.org

Should you know of other indigenous knowledge practices that have helped or may help to improve Bank programs, please share them with us. We will enter your contribution into the IK-Database.

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 IK Contribution Format

1. Country:

Where is the practice applied (country and location)?

2. Domain:

In which sector is the practice applied (agriculture, health, social development etc.)?

3. Technology:

What technology (e.g. soil erosion control, childcare, institutional development etc.)?

4. Bearers of Knowledge:

By whom is the practice applied (e.g. Washambaa, local healers, women's group of a given village etc.)?

5. Source:

Where can we inquire further?

Primary provider information (probably yourself or your institution)

Secondary providers of information

Add references to literature, web sites, names of individuals or organizations that can corroborate the practice.

Include addresses of primary and secondary providers of information.

6. Descriptive headline of practice:

One to two lines capturing the main features of a practice.

7. Summary:

Describe the main features of the practice and explain (not more than 200 words).

8. Lessons:

Answer three key questions related to efficacy and impact of the practice.

- Why it is important for the local community?

- Why might it be beneficial to other communities?

- Why should development organizations learn more about this practice?

9. Methods used to capture information:

How was the practice identified, recorded and documented?

NB:

The IK database is an open, on-line resource for information on indigenous knowledge practices. The database acts as a referral system and does not disclose the technical details of practices or applications. Most practices in the database have been reported elsewhere in publicly accessible information sources. As is the principle of a referral database the provider of information could be asked by users of the database to provide further information or pointers as regards details of the practice. It is to the discretion of the provider of information and the inquirer to negotiate the terms of the exchange of knowledge. No information provided will be made public without the consent of the provider.

Should you know of other indigenous knowledge practices that have helped or may help to improve Bank programs, please share them with us. We will enter your contribution into the IK-Database.

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