GOVERNMENT has launched a command rain water harvesting programme in Matabeleland North province to improve water availability at each household in the drought-prone region.
BY SHARON SIBINDI/TALENT GUMPO
Speaking at the launch in Umguza district yesterday, Matabeleland North Provincial Affairs minister Cain Mathema said the Environment, Water and Climate ministry was spearheading the programme.
He said the programme entails provision of water resources such as a weir, a small dam, per each ward.
“To us, the people of Matabeleland North, which is largely an arid province, this programme could not have come at a more opportune time. It is a programme that we fully accept and embrace,” Mathema said.
He said with improved water security in the communities, people can grow crops all-year round a development that will help improve food security at household and community level, while also going a long way in poverty alleviation.
“Food security and poverty alleviation are part of the government’s key targets under ZimAsset.
“I am reliably informed that the weir, which shall be constructed at this site, shall have the capacity to hold 115 200 cubic metres of water, which shall be used for irrigating gardens and providing water for livestock. In excess of 150 households are expected to benefit from this weir. This will, no doubt, usher in a new trajectory in the lives of the envisaged beneficiaries. I, therefore, implore the beneficiaries to start preparations for the use of this piece of infrastructure,” Mathema said.
He said under the programme, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority will provide technical assistance in the construction of weirs and small dams while communities, through their leadership structures will assist with the mobilisation of resources such as labour, rocks, cement and any other necessary materials.
“Members of the House of Assembly, Senators and councillors are, therefore, expected to take a leading role in the mobilisation of resources. We also expect businesspeople and other people to also assist in the mobilisation of resources for their respective wards,” Mathema said.
He also raised concern over pollution of water sources, particularly the Umguza River.
Similar projects have been rolled out in the Midlands and Mashonaland East provinces.