Walter Mswazie Masvingo Correspondent
Cyclone Idai-hit Districts here are set to benefit from part of the US$72 million reconstruction funding facility availed by the World Bank, an official has said.
Recently, the World Bank made available US$72 million towards Cyclone Idai-hit districts with Chimanimani and Chipinge set to receive a bigger chunk, given the magnitude of the damage.
Masvingo provincial development coordinator (PDC) Mr Fungai Mbetsa said the money will see the reconstruction and construction of clinics and schools.
He said the money will be disbursed soon to the respective districts, with the worst affected Bikita district expected to receive the lion’s share.
“I can confirm that Bikita, Gutu and Zaka will soon benefit from part of the US$72 million availed by the World Bank,” said Mr Mbetsa. “The money is meant to reconstruct clinics and schools, as well as roads destroyed by the Cyclone Idai that hit the country in March.”
Mr Mbetsa said the money will go a long way in restoring the health and education system in the affected districts.
“We understand some schools were severely damaged that pupils were left learning in the open,” he said. “This is a shot in the arm as we also work on devolution.”
Mr Mbetsa thanked the World Bank for the gesture, as the funding will go a long way in addressing infrastructural challenges.
“We are indebted to our President Emmerson Mnangagwa who mobilised such resources,” he said. “Had it not been for such a selfless gesture, we were not going to afford the reconstruction crusade given that we have resource constraints.”
More than 300 people were left dead with the same number missing, while at least 5 000 families were left homeless in Manicaland following the devastating Cyclone Idai.
In Masvingo, more than 1 000 homes were destroyed, with Bikita being the most hit.
The district also reported four deaths and several injured.
Meanwhile, Government is working on securing funds to ensure that all irrigation schemes across the country are up and running, reports our Midlands Bureau
Minister of State in the Office of Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, Dr Evelyn Ndlovu, made the remarks during a familiarisation tour of Igogo Irrigation Scheme in Kwekwe last week.
Minister Ndlovu, who is touring irrigation schemes across the country, said it was Government aim to make sure that all irrigation schemes are resuscitated as the country seeks to fulfil President Mnangagwa’s vision of the country regaining its breadbasket status.
“When President Mnangagwa was still Vice President, he was the one who started this programme of resuscitation of irrigation schemes. He started by targeting Arda farms first where he engaged partners and the project has since paid dividends. Now as Government we are saying we are ready to support the resuscitation of all irrigation schemes across the country and we are not stopping until we achieve that,” said Minister Ndlovu.
She said with everyone was playing their role, it was possible to boost food security in the country which is currently facing deficit due to poor rains in the 2019/19 farming season.
“There is nothing we can do with the rains, it’s nature and God’s plan and we cannot change that. But we can utilise the resources available like land and some water bodies that are still there,” she said.
Minister Ndlovu said gone were the days when people used to blame Government for everything. She said people should also play their part for the development of the nation.
She also implored Government to give agriculture officers adequate tools for use so that they provide farmers with proper farming methods.
Igogo Irrigation Scheme, which draws water from Mbembeswane Dam about 6 kilometres away, has 43 farmers who operate collectively under a cooperative.
The 85-hectare scheme has 32 hectares currently under winter wheat which is about to be harvested.
Chairman of the Igogo Irrigation Cooperative, Mr Jeremiah Ruwende said power cuts were a major challenge as they had been forced to spend less time watering their winter crop.
“The ongoing load shedding has largely affected our work here. Most of our wheat is not doing well as we have limited time to water the crop. We are therefore appealing to Government to assist with alternative sources of power so that we can be able to continually water the crop,” he said.