Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

A non-governmental organisation, Cesvi, is resuscitating nine irrigation projects here as part of a three-year Zimbabwe Resilience Programme funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

UNDP availed $5,3 million for the initiative, which started in 2017 and will end in June this year.

The fund also covers non-forestry timber projects in Nyanga.

The initiative is being implemented through the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement under the PROGRESS consortium led by the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Other members of the consortium include Cesvi, Matopos Research Centre and Biohub.

Cesvi area coordinator for Beitbridge Mr Munyaradzi Katemaudzanga said the nine schemes are River Ranch, Ndambe Phase 2, Jalukange, Bili, Dombolidenje, Shashe, Kwalu, Tongwe and Tshikwala-                           kwala.

“Civil works are at an advanced stage. So far we have completed rehabilitating the Dombolidenje Irrigation Scheme where we have a centre pivot that is irrigating 16 hectares and is operating with a solar-powered booster pump,” said Mr Katemaudzanga.

“At River Ranch, we have covered a lot of ground and another centre pivot is covering 30 hectares.”

He said they had also installed two centre pivots to irrigate 26 and 34 hectares respectively, while a borehole and drip system have been rehabilitated at Ndambe Phase 2.

He said they had installed an electric fence covering over 70 percent of Jalukange and Bili irrigation projects.

“The other projects are at various stages of resuscitation depending on the state of affairs in those areas,” said the official.

He said currently they were conducting capacity building for the plot-holders and agriculture extension workers.

Mr Katemaudzanga said the irrigation projects were being modernised to adapt to the effects of climate change.

He said they were installing solar-powered pumps and related equipment in view of energy challenges affecting the country.

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