Home » Industry » Shashe Villagers Appeal for Irrigation Equipment

The Shashe Irrigation Scheme has appealed to Government and donors for water pumps to help improve irrigation water supply and agricultural production at the scheme in Driefontein, about 186km south of Harare.

The irrigation scheme’s vice chairman Mr Matariro Magumo told The Herald last Friday that lack of water pumps had stalled efforts to boost agricultural output and improve livelihoods for the locals.

“We have fenced up the area and laid down irrigation pipes. Power was connected by Zesa but we don’t have water pumps to kick-start the project,” he said.

“We are appealing to the Government and donors to assist us. We can’t do much without the pumps.”

The Shashe Irrigation Scheme is a collection of 63 families all of whom were allocated a 60 hectare piece of land in the Old Driefontein area of Gutu rural district.

The small scale farmers decided to form a collective after years of drought paralysed the area’s agricultural sector.

Their proximity to Shashe River led to the idea of utilising river water for agricultural purposes and subsequently gave birth to the formation of the Shashe Irrigation Scheme.

Mr David Mudziwapasi, a councillor in the Shashe resettlement area said locals had the potential to grow vegetables, green mealies, beans, tomatoes, cabbages, cucumbers, carrots and other crops which they could supply to nearby mission schools and growth points.

“A pump can easily transform the livelihoods of our people in this area,” he said. “Everything is now there except for water pumps. With pumps the farmers can easily supply produce to Gutu growth point, Chartsworth and mission schools in Driefontein, Serima and Rufaro.”

Said Mr Magumo: “Farming is our only source of income and with irrigation we can improve our livelihoods.

“The situation at the irrigation scheme is bad at the moment because we are forced to grow crops on small pieces of plots because we don’t have water pumps. With pumps we can scale up our production levels.”

Agricultural experts say smallholder irrigation can improve food security at household level through increased productivity, stable production and increased incomes.

They also say it can enable Zimbabwe to meet its national target to achieve food security both at national and household levels. Water pumping is one of the most basic and widespread energy needs in rural areas. International food and agricultural agencies estimate that half of the world’s rural population does not have access to clean water and irrigation water supply.

Source : The Herald