ZINWA assures enough water for agriculture industry
THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority has assured stakeholders in the agriculture industry that there is adequate water to support part of the proposed 400 000 hectares of maize under command agriculture as the authority pledges access of water to 30 000 hectares from its dams.
Zinwa chief executive, Dr Jefter Sakupwanya, revealed this at the Agri-Business conference at the Harare Agricultural Show yesterday.
He said a number of large dams, including Biri - Manyame, Mazvikadei and Mwenje were underutilised.
“So far 95 000 hectares have been identified for irrigation through farmers registering with Agritex for command agriculture while 200 000 hectares have been registered for dryland maize production.
“Zinwa has also availed manpower to serve on various committees and to assess the condition of the dams and other water infrastructure at the identified farms,” he said
Dr Sakupwanya said Zinwa would also assess the required works to optimally use the water infrastructure at the registered farms as well as water availability.
“Tokwe-Mukosi Dam on completion is expected to add enough water to irrigate 25 000 hectares of land in the Lowveld. The authority has identified over 100 dams for de-siltation and rehabilitation in order to enhance the capacity of dams and availability of water resources to support the maize production project,” he said.
Dr Sakupwanya said the authority was working on ensuring that water was affordable to farmers.
One million litres of water cost $2 for communal farmers, $3 for A1,$5 for A2, $12 for commercial agriculture such as estates $6 for local authorities and $9,45 for industry. The mining sector pays $50 for one million litres of water. Dr Sakupwanya said the authority was also affected by climate change, siltation and pollution of water sources.
“We are working on protecting rivers and reservoirs from siltation and pollution through better land use practices, carrying awareness campaigns on impacts of land use practices like stream-bank cultivation, deforestation, panning, overgrazing, improper sewage disposal on water quality,” he said.