HEAVY rains that pounded most parts of the country this month destroyed equipment at Hama Mavhaire Irrigation Scheme, leaving thousands of small-holder farmers stranded, area councillor Taruvinga Duvai has said.
BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
The irrigation scheme, situated near Mashamba Primary School in Chirumanzu district’s ward 7, has been the source of livelihood for many families since its establishment 24 years ago.
“The main pipe which supplied water to the irrigation fields was washed away when heavy rains hit the area on March 11,”Duvai said in interview yesterday.
He said the engine that pumps water from the nearby Mavhaire Dam was also destroyed by the rains.
“To date, the pipe is still to be replaced while the engine is yet to be repaired after it was buried by the floods for two days,” Duvai said.
He said the engine was taken for repairs while the asbestos pipe was yet to be acquired.
The rains also destroyed a bridge that leads to the irrigation project, leaving villagers cut off from nearby Masvingo City where they usually sell their farm produce.
Duncan Dube said he has been growing beans and maize at the irrigation scheme which he sold to pay school fees and other basic necessities for his family.
“Our only hope for survival has been dashed and we pray the relevant authorities assist us to restore operations at the irrigation scheme,” Dube said.
The irrigation scheme was established by government and other development partners in response to food shortages normally experienced in the area.