MASVINGO – The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) and villagers at Mushandike in Masvingo Rural will soon be embarking on a programme to repair canals and other infrastructure at Mushandike Irrigation ahead of the winter wheat cropping season.
Initially there were disagreements between Zinwa and the villagers on who was responsible for repairing the infrastructure after the project had been derelict for many years because of successive droughts.
Denson Gwaradzimba, a representative of the farmers initially told The Mirror that it was the responsibility of Zinwa to repair the infrastructure since the farmers were paying US$7 to the authority in fees every month.
“We have been paying US$7 or more depending on how big the farm is to ZINWA for the past three years and now ZINWA is asking us to come with our tools and repair the canals alone of which it’s their responsibility as a company,” said Gwaradzimba.
However, Marjorie Munyonga, Zinwa communications and marketing manager told The Mirror that the authority had a meeting with the farmers last week and they agreed to jointly do the repairs.
Zinwa will provide cement and other necessities while the farmers will bring forth their labour.
“After a meeting of stakeholders we agreed that farmers will provide labour to expedite the process and the authority will provide cement,” said Munyonga.
The farmers said they have a tight timeframe this year to grow winter crops because of the Mushandike Dam which is full following abundant rains received this year.
Mushandike is one of the biggest small scale irrigation schemes in Masvingo with over 400 farmers registered under it. It is located about 20km from Masvingo along Masvingo – Beitbridge Highway.
It covers 9 400 hectares and it was established in 1939 and commissioned in 1986. https://masvingomirror.com