Over 29 000 families in Buhera are set to benefit from the Tarwira Irrigation Scheme, which is expected to boost food security and household income in the district, which is one of the most affected by drought in recent years.
More than 30 hectares have been developed at the scheme under a $5,6 million irrigation development project being funded by World Vision in three districts in Manicaland.
Speaking during the official handover of all assets created under the Enhancing Nutrition, Stepping Up Resiliency and Enterprise (ENSURE) programme in Buhera on Wednesday, Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Dr Ellen said Government also plans to use Ruti Dam in Buhera to construct viable irrigation schemes that will cover over 40 hectares. She said Government would utilise Ruti Dam, that is on the boarders of Buhera and Gutu, to benefit villagers in both areas.
“Irrigation schemes are very critical here and we should utilise all the dams around us to increase productivity,” said Dr Gwaradzimba. “Gutu is benefiting from Ruti Dam, which is supposed to also support Buhera irrigation schemes.
“Government is going to assist in rehabilitating and constructing irrigation schemes using that dam and other dams which are not being utilised.”
Dr Gwaradzimba said the area near Ruti Dam had already been assessed, and contractors were waiting for the equipment for irrigation constructions to start the project.
She urged farmers to engage in farming small grains such as sorghum and millet which are drought resistant since the area usually receives little rain.
“I advise people to sustain the projects and add value to them as we seek to move away from the dependency syndrome that has been created by some projects in the past,” she said. World Vision Zimbabwe, ENSURE programme chief of party Mr Richard Ndou said it was important for Government to support the projects being carried out under the programme to ensure continuity.
“Tarwira Irrigation Scheme and the dam we constructed will help improve food security and boost incomes for communities around the area as there is now scope for them to grow crops all year round,” said Mr Ndou.
He encouraged the community to take care of the irrigation equipment to avoid breakdowns and vandalism.
“People have tendency of stealing and vandalising property,” he said. “We have gathered here to actually hand over the property to you, it is now your duty to utilise the property to benefit you and your families.”
Source : The Herald