WATER Resources Development and Management minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo says the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline will have seven outlets to allow villagers living within its vicinity to access the water for their irrigation projects.
Report by Nduduzo Tshuma Staff Reporter
Nkomo made the remarks during a tour of the project last week in the company of Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo
“We agreed with the Umzingwane Rural District Council that we would create seven outlets in the pipeline to use the water for agricultural purposes,” said Nkomo. “However, already there are some villagers downstream using the water for domestic purposes.”
He said they had split pipes at the last reservoir before Umzingwane Dam, one that would connect directly to a pipeline leaving the dam for Ncema waterworks.
“The other pipe goes as far as the perimeter fence surrounding the reservoir and we will then build a canal connecting to the dam, which is presently 1,2% full. There were concerns of evaporation raised when the water was pumped into the dam, but we will have to pump some water into the dam to save aquatic life and also provide water for animals,” said Nkomo.
Chombo urged villagers to organise themselves into farming co-operatives so that they would effectively benefit from the water.
“We want villagers to organise themselves and create small-scale irrigation schemes. If they organise themselves, they can produce different types of crops round the year,” he said.