Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Solar powered boreholes to benefit Gowa irrigation scheme

Courage Dutiro

As the country is battling with climate change effects, Bikita South Member of Parliament Josiah Sithole has said solar-powered boreholes are going to bail out communities in the dry Mafaune area in ward 3 after expansion of the irrigation scheme’s farming land from 8 to 200 hectares (ha).
Sithole said historically Gowa irrigation was a project covering only 8 ha of land under irrigation.
“The irrigation scheme is a project covering about 8 ha in the dry Mafaune area in ward 3 in Chief Mabika’s area. Water was drawn from the nearby Turwi River.
“Feasibility study has shown that there is available land of up to 200 ha that the community has offered. Use of solar-powered boreholes and centre pivots has been suggested,” said Sithole.
He also said the expansion project is still waiting for government green light to kick start.
“Communities in the area cannot harvest any meaningful produce because the area is typically in the ecological region 5.
“We are only waiting for government to start work on this project to tackle the problem,” he said.
Sithole said he has been told by officials from Masvingo Irrigation Services that the irrigation that can benefit up to 200 families is now in the provincial master plan.
“After we visited the site with the officials, they told us that Gowa is now in the provincial master plan.
“Currently about 8 ha is under Mabika family. Proposals have indicated that 150-200 families will benefit, the majority of the beneficiaries being women,” said Sithole.
Minister of State of Masvingo Provincial Affairs Ezra Chadzamira maintains that full exploitation of idle water bodies and land would help to expand the province’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through agricultural growth.

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