Midlands dams set for full capacity irrigation as rainy season approaches

THE Department of Irrigation Services in collaboration with International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is carrying out feasibility studies on major dams in Midlands Province to determine their irrigation potential in a move that could see 10 800 hectares of irrigation land being opened.

The dams include Mundi-Mataga (Mberengwa), Palawani (Zvishavane), Sebakwe (Kwekwe), Manyuchi (that borders Mberengwa and Mwenezi in Masvingo), Mbembeswana (between Gweru-Kwekwe), Munyati (border Mvuma-Kwekwe) and Shashe (Mvuma).

Speaking during a meeting attended by the Minister of State in Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s office, Evelyn Ndlovu, in Gweru last week, Midlands Provincial Irrigation Engineer Shingirai Zano said the province had a lot of potential in underutilised dams.

Mr Zano said under the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP), the province had successfully rehabilitated 84ha from 840ha targeted for this year.

He added that through the IFAD Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme, the province targeted to revitalise 1525ha by 2023.

“We have successfully completed 60ha Gutsaruzhinji Irrigation Project in Shurugwi District and will complete pumping units installation at Igogo in Kwekwe District, which is 84ha.”

Midlands Province has an estimated total irrigation area of 17 000ha, with a total area equipped for smallholder irrigation of 1 799.4ha and 364ha still under development.

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