Over 1 000 families to benefit from irrigation scheme
George Maponga Masvingo Bureau
Over 1 000 families in Chivi are set to benefit from the resuscitated Bindamombe Irrigation Scheme, which is expected to significantly boost food security and household income in the drought-stricken area.
So far, 34 hectares have been developed at the scheme under phase one of the irrigation development project being jointly carried through funding from Government and the Climate Resilience Infrastructure Development Fund (CRIDF), which is bankrolled by the British Government.
Among communities set to benefit from the new irrigation scheme is Gwitima, Jaka, Chishozhowa and Mafuta under Chief Chivi.
Chivi Rural District Council chief executive Mr Tariro Matavire said the development of a new irrigation scheme at Bindamombe was a game-changer in ongoing efforts to engender household food security.
“The coming on board of Bindamombe Irrigation Scheme will help improve food security and boost incomes for communities around that dam as there is now scope for them to grow crops all year round,’’ he said.
“Communities in areas such as Gwitima and surrounding areas were at the mercy of droughts every year and we want to applaud Government and its partners for coming up with the idea to develop an irrigation scheme. So far about 34 hectares have been put under irrigation at Bindamombe under the first phase.’’
Mr Matavire said plans were afoot to expand the irrigation further to more than 50 hectares and benefit more households in the district.
He said Bindamombe Dam had for years been used exclusively to irrigate Lowveld cane plantations.
“The people in Chivi are now happy that at least they are starting to benefit from the dam, which was commissioned in the late 1980s, but never benefited them, with its water irrigating sugarcane fields in the Lowveld,’’ he said.
Mr Matavire said there was also need to replicate developments at Bindamombe at other major dams in Chivi District.
Among the major dams underutilised in the district is Muzhwi along Shashe River in Chivi North that also supplies Lowveld cane plantations.
Government has also announced plans to introduce a Command Fisheries project at Bindamombe to boost incomes and nutrition for communities around the dam.
Chivi District has arguably the highest dam density in Masvingo Province as it is home to Muzhwi and Bindamombe, together with the giant Tugwi-Mukosi Dam.