Villagers urged to adopt command water harvesting
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