People’s Choice : ‘Where there is a will…’

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Deep down in the recesses of Mberengwa district, where the only visible signs of technology are overhead power lines and a dusty road serviced by one battered bus and a sprinkling of private cars that occasionally pass through, is a thriving irrigation scheme.

First mooted in 2003 and only becoming fully functional during 2004 with the help and funding from CARE International the scheme is a sign of determination and hard work by the local communities led by a visionary, Malayini Shava Ziwerere.

Before the irrigation was established a group of villagers established nutritional gardens around Mubaiwa Dam haphazardly with no proper strategy or plan.

For Ziwerere this approach threatened the dam — just 5km from his shop — with siltation and along with it the livelihoods of most
families.

At that point Ziwerere was a councillor. He used his influence to convince the first group of villagers into forming a co-operative which would fence off 2,5 hectares of land, thus sowing the seeds of what was later to become Mubaiwa Irrigation Scheme Phase 1.

The villagers were poor and could not raise money to fence their nutritional gardens.

Ziwerere decided to approach CARE International who assisted with a fence, cement to build water reservoirs and to buy PVC pipes
for use in siphoning water from the dam and transporting it into the tanks.

The garden then became too small.As hunger begun to exact its toll on the villagers surrounding the dam an increasing number started looking at the irrigation scheme as their only hope for survival.

It also meant that there was a scramble for space to establish nutritional gardens around the dam. There are now 125 families dependent on Phases 1 and 2 of Mubaiwa Irrigation Scheme.

According to Chairman Shadreck Gumbo Phase 2 is on three hectares of land which has provided regular income for the families that
grow and market produce from the scheme.

“This project has become self sustaining. Over the years that we have operated it we can undertake all repair work, send some of our members to attend farming workshops where they learn new ideas and farming methods so that we continue to improve our yields,” he said.

Mberengwa is an area ravaged by AIDs and HIV and there are more child-headed families where children struggle to put food on their
table.

However, because of the scheme they can afford to pay their own fees, buy food and Philip Zhou describes how the irrigation scheme has changed his life because of the money it generates.

“A 10m x 1 m bed of tomatoes produces six buckets of tomatoes on the first harvest. A bucket fetches an average of US$10 on the market. I have 12 of these beds and you can just imagine how much I will generate,” he said.

In rural Mberengwa US$60 is a lot of money and can go a long way in supporting the education requirements of five children through
primary school.

Ziwerere also opened a school of cutting and designing named after him — the Ziwerere Vocational Training Centre — at his shop after
he bought 10 sewing machines at an auction.

He enrols orphans for free at the school where his wife, Taurai Shava, teaches. The school is supported by the donor community through provision of sewing material.

The dresses made at the school are either sold or worn by those who make them or members of their families.

Prince Hove and Evidence Siziba are among some of the orphans who have graduated from the school during the past year.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Ndinotenda chose Newsday nokusvikawo dunhu revarombo kuno kuMberengwa ndokugona basa noti zvekungoti news dzowanikwa muHarare . Rambai makadaro chose zvimwe tingaonekwavo kwete zvekngofunga kwaZvimba ndiyo Zimbabawe . We ar expecting more stories mutiudze kuti ivo vatungamiriri vedu varikuiteri nzvimbo kkubva zvavakapiwa masimba . Ndozvinoratidza ibepa revanhu ka pindai mumwena mese muone hurombo hurimunzvimbo . THANK YOU VERY MUCH , SIYABONGA , NDORIBUWA ZVAVUTHI , KIYALIBUGA NEWSDAY

  2. Why is it that Mberengwa is the most poorest district and the gvt is not taking an action. They just want it during elections and after they left waiting for next elections.Do they want it to be governed by ELCZ Mission ivo vakatarira. RUGARE AND JORAMU where are yu ? are yu nt ashamed of that. Makhosini what hev yu done to the pple since your 1st term in office. we are tired of pple who does nt have development on their minds

  3. Great mukwambo Malaini Shava Ziwewera. Mberengwa needs more people with such development-oriented minds in more areas: technological, mining, mineral development, higher education and training, publishing, community radio & tv broadcasting etc.

  4. yes u can say that government contributed to a lesser extent toward the development of mberengwa bt its high tym we as residents of mberengwa design a strategy on hw best we can improve even the road networks. we ar living in an economic error wee we must must unite and develop our district. for we are not poor in terms of resource wise. we hv got emarald gold tantalyt chrome jas to mention a few. ko kana tichikwanisa kubatana pama vote tokonewa nei pane zvimwe DIVIDED WE CONTINUE TO FALL, UNITED WE CAN STAND

  5. NGOs to the rescue, as usual. 33 years later all Mugabe has to show is abject poverty. Thanks CARE international.

  6. Rainflo Technology (Pvt) Ltd Irrigation water reticulation engineers,Consultancy, designs ,boreholes, overhead irrigation, drip irrigation, pump experts- installation, repairs, trolleys (portable), pivots, pipeline survey and installation, garden irrigation, booster pumps,maintenance,surface irrigation, tanks and tank stands.Thinking Long term & Reducing Costs . rainflotech@yahoo.com 0715415931

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