By James Muonwa | Mashonaland West Correspondent
UNITED Kingdom based conservationist, Nick Holmes Sunday took his first step as he embarked on an arduous 800 kilometre walk around the edges of the iconic Kariba dam to raise awareness on mental health.
The journey, supported by Walk 4 Life and Zimbabwe National Parks Authority (ZimParks), is expected to take 60 days with the objective to promote mental health issues post the devastating Covid 19, as well as conservation.
Holmes, a Zimbabwean by birth, started from the Zimbabwean side of the lake, and will traverse the neighbouring Zambian shores interacting with nature before returning on home soil.
On Sunday, Holmes bade farewell to various stakeholders who gathered at the Kariba Dam wall.
Addressing the media at the launch Holmes said, “This journey is to try to establish global awareness about mental health, conservation and the link between nature and conservation.
“We saw this when Covid 19 hit globally, people were locked in their houses and homes and they suffered mentally.
“People missed their streets, workplaces and their normal way of living so we created the Walk 4 Life brand to raise awareness on mental health issues not just in Zimbabwe and Zambia but globally.
“This is also part of a long term process and desire to create something we call “TERRA” which stands for Training Education Research Rehabilitation and Awareness. We need to make sure we train communities on mental health, conservation and how to manage wildlife.”
Nick’s walk will allow him to go deeper into communities and interact with members and leaders, who are frontliners of community health.
The same people interact with nature, the core of the campaign which is exploring the link between nature and mental health.
Born and bred in Zimbabwe, Nick is a third generation local citizen, now resident in the UK, from where he promotes investment into Africa, with a particular focus on his native county, and the greater Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.