Villagers in $50k dam project
VILLAGERS in Ward 12, Headlands constituency have teamed up to construct a weir, 32 years after their local authority promised to establish the reservoir for them.
The weir, which is expected to be completed at a cost of $50 000 will provide water for domestic and commercial purposes to over 3 000 people under Chief Tandi.
Construction work started last month with villagers from Chikwava Village committing to complete the project early next year should everything go to plan.
Men and women of different ages are providing labour and all locally available such as concrete stones and river sand.
Family Visions Trust director, Mr Obert Gonzo said the villagers were not looking back despite the numerous challenges they were encountering in the process. His organization, which has been very instrumental in sourcing some materials required in the construction of the dam, is based in the village.
The dam will enable villagers to practise commercial agriculture all year round and ultimately change their economic and social fortunes for the better.
“Construction of the dam was first mooted by the Government in 1986 and several officials visited the site promising to construct it but nothing has materialised. It is now 32 years and we are still waiting for the dam so we have decided to go it alone as a village.
“Although the task ahead of us is huge, we have made significant strides especially in mobilising labour and all the locally available materials. We have plans to establish an irrigation scheme in the village, which will take the cost of the entire project to about $80 000. We are however not worried about the costs as our focus is on the benefits that will come with the weir’s completion to our village,” said Mr Gonzo.
He added that they had also secured some funding from developmental agencies or the purchase of building materials and hiring of construction equipment, which the villagers could not afford.
“Everyone is on board as the project has been fully embraced by the community. We are going to set up several nutritional gardens and all year round farming in the ward. Villagers are going to migrate from subsistence to commercial farming once the dam is completed, said Mr Gonzo.
A villager Mrs Rispah Nedzihwe said the construction of the dam was a dream-come true after years of waiting.
She added that the entire village had adopted a culture of less reliance on handouts, which promotes laziness.
“We are happy that the people of this area have finally came together to construct this dam. We also the appreciate assistance we are getting from some donor agencies. We will be the biggest beneficiaries from the dam once completed,” she said.