George Maponga in CHIVI
Villagers have paid tribute to the Second Republic under President Mnangagwa for initiating devolution, leading to the resuscitation of the mothballed Chombwe piped water scheme that will benefit over 10 000 households here.
The water scheme, which was established in 1972, collapsed in the late 1990s.
Government has since availed $6 million to revive the scheme, bringing back smiles on the faces of villagers in Chivi North and Chivi Central.
The scheme will supply raw water to villagers along a belt from Chivi North near Mhandamabwe to Chivi Growth Point.
Speaking on the sidelines of a tour of the scheme by Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Ezra Chadzamira and members of the Provincial Development Committee, villagers praised President Mnangagwa and Government for conceiving devolution.
Water for the scheme is drawn from the perennially flowing Tugwi River, which feeds off Muzhwi Dam upstream.
Mr Dheviya Masiyasi of Mhikuro Village in Madyangove said they never expected to see the Chombwe water scheme pipes running again following its collapse.
“We have been experiencing serious water problems here, both for drinking and our livestock, and let alone for irrigating our gardens. The situation was made worse after Chombwe taps ran dry in the late 1980s,” he said.
His sentiments were echoed by Mr Mutogwa Finyani of Muvi Village, who said revival of the water scheme was a dream come true for many.
“We were stuck after its collapse around 1999,” he said.
“We are very excited that Government has remembered us and now we will be able to irrigate our fields and drink clean water, while also supplying our livestock needs.”
Minister Chadzamira said devolution was a game-changer for rural communities.
“Government allocated $6 million for reviving Chombwe scheme and so far $3,4 million has been drawn down and used to purchase new pumps and repair leaking pipes so that water reaches all areas where communities will use it for drinking purposes, for livestock and irrigating their fields to ensure food sufficiency in this dry area,” said Minister Chadzamira.
“We want to pay tribute to President Mnangagwa and his Government for coming up with the devolution programme, which is positively impacting on the lives of our people.
“We want the whole scheme to be up and running with all obsolete pipes and pumps being repaired so that the water gets to all villagers to discourage vandalism. People will not vandalise the pipes if they are benefiting from the water.”
Chivi RDC chair Councillor Godfrey Mukungunugwa said the water scheme will benefit more than 15 schools and business centres in Chivi North and Chivi Central.