Elita Chikwati Senior Agriculture Reporter
A total of 4 423 hectares on irrigation schemes is now receiving water once again as the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) presses forward in rehabilitating schemes to improve productivity and water use efficiency.
Irrigation rehabilitation is in line with Zinwa’s new mandate to help improve productivity and water use efficiency at irrigation schemes countrywide.
Government wants Zinwa to lead in water harvesting and conveyancing for 350 000 hectares under the Accelerated Irrigation Revitalisation and Development Plan by end of this year.
It should also drill 35 000 boreholes for 35 000 villages and 9 600 boreholes for schools by December 2025.
Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager, Mrs Marjorie Munyonga, yesterday said rehabilitation works were successfully completed at irrigation schemes such as Arda Transau, Chilonga, Mananda, Sherwood Block, Lukosi, Nyamangara, Chomutamba, Taona, Deure, Bonde, Mhakwe, Vimbanayi, Chibuwe, Musaverema, Mushandike, Mapanzure and Silabuhwa.
“The rehabilitation works included repairs of conveyance canals, silt removal, resuscitation of pumping works, installation of pump sets, construction of pump houses, installation of electric motors and electrical improvements,” she said.
Rehabilitation was ongoing and quite advanced at River Ranch, Bubi Lupane, Impalavale, Hauke, Chimhanda, Chitora, Maryland, Seke Sanyati, Nenhowe and Mutange.
“At Mutange Irrigation Scheme in Gokwe, Zinwa has constructed a 2 400 metre conveyance system, installed suction pipes and carried out land clearance and repairs of centre pivots,” she said.
In 2020 Government reviewed the mandate of Zinwa to include the development of irrigation infrastructure, including infield conveyance works in a move that was aimed at improving productivity at the irrigation schemes and boosting the uptake of water from dams.
Government through the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development is currently implementing several programmes to improve irrigation. These include the National Accelerated Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Programme targeting irrigation rehabilitation and development of at least 200 hectares in every district implemented annually over a period of 10 years.