For decades, Buhera has been labelled as one of the poorest districts in Zimbabwe, with very few resources to its name and prone to droughts.
But over the years, developments have taken place in the area, notably at Murambinda Growth Point, mining activities at Dorowa Mine and a few other mines in the area as well as farming at the irrigation scheme located at the growth point.
Most recently, Government completed the construction of Marovanyati Dam, one of the biggest in the country, and Buhera Rural District Council chief executive Dr Emily Chibvongodze, believes the dam could finally be the solution to fighting hunger in the district.
President Mnangagwa commissioned the gigantic water reservoir last year and already, improved water supply to industries and agriculture has positively impacted on all sectors of the economy.
Dr Chibvongodze told The Herald that council had resolved to actively take responsibility of planning economic activities around the dam.
“After the commissioning of the dam by President Mnangagwa, we resolved to establish a business centre at Marovanyati,” she said. “We received support from the Commonwealth Local Government Forum which funds councils to carry out district profiling and ward planning.
“We gave priority to Marovanyati and we are looking to showcase the landmark and attract investment that will help improve the district’s economy.”
The council has planned an investment conference which will bring together foreign and local investors from different sectors.
Initially, the conference was supposed to have been hosted last month, but was affected by national lockdown restrictions put in place to contain Covid-19.
Once the restrictions have been eased, the conference will then be held, with foreign investors participating virtually.
Dr Chibvongodze said some of the investment areas being looked at include agriculture, and one irrigation scheme has already been functional at Murambinda A.
The establishment of a second scheme is underway at Guwanda (Murambinda B).
Marovanyati has capacity to support four irrigation schemes with a total of about 2 000 hectares.
Dr Chibvongodze said besides agriculture, they were targeting tourism, fisheries, boat cruising, accommodation and a wildlife corridor.
“We have already applied for authority to keep the animals that usually stray into our district from the Save Conservancy due to overpopulation there,” she said. “We have enough space to keep them here. We have plenty of water and the land on each side can achieve a lot.”
Buhera RDC is presently working with authorities from Kanyemba District to learn how they have successfully planned to utilise their resources for development.
Dr Chibvongodze said Marovanyati had already attracted a lot of interest from various stakeholders and council was racing against time to have a proper plan in place by the time investors start coming in.
“Covid-19 has slowed us down in terms of hosting the investment conference, but we are forging ahead as a local authority to establish a development plan around the dam,” he said.
“Our planners are working with those from Kanyemba and we are confident that this district will never be the same. We are definitely not poor, so it’s high time we showed the rest of the world what Buhera has to offer.”