Irrigation scheme a life-saver

by Thomas Madhuku

The re-establishment of Zuwa Rabuda Irrigation Scheme in Mutandahwe has saved the community from persistent drought and hunger, villagers have said.

Speaking to The Zimbabwean, one of the beneficiaries, Rhoda Sithole, said the initiative had enabled them to harvest again after years of persistent drought.

“Year after year we experienced serious drought in our area but now that the irrigation scheme is up and running, our situation has changed,” she said.

Another farmer, Rumbidzai Makotore, said locals grew a variety of crops depending on seasons, with tomatoes during winter and maize in summer.

Makotore said beneficiaries were also getting cash from the sale of tomatoes and beans.

“The cash we get from tomatoes and beans goes towards buying food and school fees for children,” she added.

The area councilor, Hardwork Masaiti, praised the facility saying it was mitigating hunger and poverty in his area.

“It is really changing the face of Mutandahwe,” Masaiti said.

He added that the 0,1ha per family was not big enough and appealed to donors to chip in with support for more irrigated land.

“We need support so that more people can benefit. Drought is now the order of the day and irrigation farming is the only way out. We really need assistance to take more people on board,” he added

Zuwa Rabuda irrigation scheme is currently benefitting 189 farmers and is a first for Chipinge South constituency. The scheme was first established in 2000 and broke down after the devastating Cyclone Eline washed away the entire irrigation infrastructure. With the help of Constituency Development Fund and Mercy Corps, a leading development organisation in Chipinge, the facility was re-established in 2009.