Sharon Chimenya, Masvingo Correspondent
CHIVI Rural District Council has used part of its devolution funds allocation to revive a piped water scheme that has been defunct for close to two decades.
The revival of the Chombwe Piped Water Scheme close to Mhandamabwe Business Centre along the Masvingo-Zvishavane Road is set to benefit the local community in terms of irrigation, water for livestock and domestic use with people from five wards in Chivi North and Chivi Central constituencies the major beneficiaries.
The project is expected to benefit more than 100 000 people in the district. The scheme which was initiated by Headman Madyangove with the assistance of the District Development Fund (DDF) in 1972 collapsed due to financial problems with the community unable to repair the pumps.
Chivi Rural District Council chief executive officer Mr Tariro Matavire, during a recent tour of the scheme by Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Ezra Chadzamira said the local authority had budgeted $6 million under devolution for the completion of the project with the major works taking up $3,2 million.
“We started the resuscitation process last year with the actual works starting in February this year and so far we have spent $3,2 million. We had, however, budgeted $6 million for the scheme to be able to reach the growth point (Chivi Growth Point) from Mhandamabwe. This year we have so far received $3 444 000 for devolution funding instead of the $27 million that we had anticipated,” he said.
He said wards Six, Seven, Eight in Chivi North and Wards 11 and 30 in Chivi Central are benefiting with the local authority hoping to provide water to the two villages that are close to the water works that are not benefiting to also curb vandalism.
Mr Matavire said in the early 1970s the Government through DDF put in place the Chombwe piped water system with fundraising secured by Headman Madyangove. The scheme however, collapsed around 2000 due to financial constraints. He said the scheme was affected by cyclones in the 2000 and the tanks were leaking hence rehabilitation.
Cde Chadzamira praised the local authority for embarking on a project that is to benefit a lot of people and urged other councils to use devolution funds to benefit the people.
“The Chombwe Irrigation Scheme project was there since 1972 and later became defunct due to the withdrawal by the donor who was funding the project through the purchase of chemicals and maintenance. The pumps and the pipes were worn out considering the scheme was functional from 1972 to 2002 but through the devolution policy implemented by His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa the scheme has been revived,” he said.
“If we continue doing like what Chivi RDC has done in all the other districts which is focusing on projects using the devolution funds it will benefit a lot of people. This project by Chivi RDC will be able to benefit around 100 000 people. This means that this is the biggest project of devolution so far in the province. We urge other councils to utilise their funds in assisting the people,” he said.
He said to avoid the scheme becoming defunct again in the future since the water will also be used for irrigation and watering livestock, the local authority will pump raw water to the people. Local villagers will have to use purifying tablets for drinking.
He said the other local authorities should consider embarking on projects that they will be able to complete rather than leaving projects half done. Devolution Funds are provided by central government to all provinces in the country and cater for people centred projects in areas such as infrastructure, health, education, housing and food security, among others.