Frustrated by Democrats from fulfilling a campaign pledge to build a wall along the southern U.S. border, Donald Trump is getting his way regardless. The only downside for the president is that this wall is in southern Africa.
The U.S. is putting up $475,000 to help restore the stone walls at Great Zimbabwe, a fortress that dates back to the 11th century and which gave the country its name. Much of the funding will go toward keeping out an unwanted intruder from the West Indies known as the lantana camara weed that’s threatening the structure. The walls are some 11 meters (36 feet) in height.
The project will involve restoration of the stone walls, monitoring of their movement and combating the invasive weed, said Lovemore Nyandima, a regional director for the Great Zimbabwe Museum. A system to detect any shifts in the walls will be put in place in August or September and an expert in the control of lantana camara will make an assessment, he said.
“All this is funded under the fund from the U.S. ambassador,” he said. The project falls under the U.S. Ambassadors’ Fund for Cultural Preservation. The U.S. embassy in Harare had no immediate comment beyond a release announcing the grant.
Great Zimbabwe was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe, which ruled over ancestors of the modern day Shona ethnic group, and is the biggest of about 100 stone ruins known as MadZimbabwe that are found in the country. Zimbabwe means house of stone.