Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Thirty million dollar irrigation scheme on the cards

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Forty-three families in Insiza District in Matebeleland South, 100 kilometres south of Bulawayo, are set to benefit from a ZW$30 million irrigation scheme set up by World Vision Zimbabwe.
The Zhulube Irrigation Scheme, which is nearing completion, is going to offer food security to almost 6 000 people in the ward. The area is prone to recurrent droughts and this year it is already proving to be the worst in living memory, as people did not even plough because the rains were late.

The scheme will draw water from Zhulube Dam with a carrying capacity of 800,000 cubic metres, which was built by the community with the assistance of World Vision Zimbabwe at a cost of ZW$8 million.

To ensure fairness and transparency in the allocation of land, preference was given to the families displaced by the construction of Zhulube Dam, those with fields taken up by the development of the irrigation scheme and farmers with the technical background to allow the cross fertilisation of ideas.

"The scheme was open to everyone upon payment of a joining fee and those who worked on the construction of the dam naturally got some preference," said Mr Daniel Muchena, World Vision.

To kick start the project farmers are set to engage in intensive market gardening where they are to grow vegetables and tomatoes, the farmers are expected to grow food crops and sell the surplus to other families in the ward, which is expected to empower them economically.

World Vision Zimbabwe is also working closely with local government authorities to ensure that the food from the irrigation scheme does not leave the programme as it is meant to benefit the local community.

"The food that is going to be grown from the irrigation scheme is mainly for the community's consumption and the surplus is going to be sold within the community and we are working closely with the local authorities to enforce that," said Mr Muchena.

To ensure the sustainability of the project a local committee has been set up and is already active in the day- to- day management of developments within the project and the catchment area to avoid siltation of the dam.