Vil­lagers urged to adopt com­mand wa­ter har­vest­ing

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News/worldwide - Prince Sun­duzani Chron­i­cle Re­porter

VIL­LAGERS should stop poor agri­cul­tural prac­tices that en­cour­age sil­ta­tion of wa­ter bod­ies for Gov­ern­ment pro­grammes such as com­mand wa­ter har­vest­ing to pay div­i­dends, a min­is­ter said yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing at the launch of the Mata­bele­land North com­mand rain wa­ter har­vest­ing pro­gramme in Umguza Ward 14 yes­ter­day, Mata­bele­land North Pro­vin­cial Af­fairs Min­is­ter, Cde Cain Math­ema, said wa­ter man­age­ment agen­cies such as Zim­babwe Na­tional Wa­ter Au­thor­ity (Zinwa) and En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Agency (Ema) must curb the men­ace to en­sure the com­mand wa­ter har­vest­ing pro­gramme suc­ceeds.

A 115 200 cu­bic me­tre dam will be con­structed at So­makhiwa Vil­lage in Umguza to ben­e­fit about 150 lo­cals.

“We need to se­ri­ously guard against de­struc­tive prac­tices such as steam bank cul­ti­va­tion, over­graz­ing and de­for­esta­tion as they pose a real threat to our wa­ter re­sources and en­vi­ron­ment at large. We owe it to our chil­dren to leave them a sound, in­tact en­vi­ron­ment and wa­ter re­source base. Even this project will go to waste if we do not prop­erly man­age our land use,” said Cde Math­ema.

He said the com­mand wa­ter har­vest­ing pro­gramme will re­sult in ev­ery ward in the coun­try hav­ing new wa­ter bod­ies or dam­aged ones re­paired.

The min­is­ter said the pro­gramme will im­prove peo­ple’s liveli­hoods as it will im­prove wa­ter and food se­cu­rity in line with Zim-As­set.

“With im­proved wa­ter se­cu­rity, peo­ple can grow crops all year round, a de­vel­op­ment that will help im­prove food se­cu­rity at house­hold and com­mu­nity lev­els while also go­ing a long way in poverty alle­vi­a­tion,” he said.

Ward 14 coun­cil­lor, Mr Al­bert Ncube, said vil­lagers were happy with the new de­vel­op­ment as it will al­le­vi­ate wa­ter short­age in the area.

He said vil­lagers walk long dis­tances in search of wa­ter and they drink con­tam­i­nated wa­ter, putting their health at risk.

“We are very pleased with the project be­cause many vil­lages in my ward are newly re­set­tled in ar­eas that don’t have wa­ter. So if we see a project like this we are happy be­cause the wa­ter sit­u­a­tion will im­prove,” said Mr Ncube.

“Peo­ple in this vil­lage drink wa­ter from Khami River which is pol­luted by sewer wa­ter from Khami Dam and this puts their health at risk.”

The aim of the pro­gramme is to im­prove the avail­abil­ity of wa­ter in ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

Un­der the pro­gramme Zinwa will pro­vide tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance in the con­struc­tion of dams and weirs and the com­mu­nity will as­sist with labour and other re­sources like rocks. — @PrinceNkosi102

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