New dam brings life to Mwenezi families

via New dam brings life to Mwenezi families – The Zimbabwean 11.9.2015

PAMENUS TUSO reports on the positive effects brought about by the building of the Tsvimborume Weir Dam.

“I am at a loss for words on how to thank the World Food Programme for assisting us to construct this dam. It will definitely bring tremendous opportunities to the women who bear the brunt of travelling long distances to source water for domestic use and to water our gardens,” said  Berata Taperesu.

This 36-year old mother is just one of the many people who spoke to a group of journalists and United Nations officials during a recent visit to the Tsvimborume Weir Dam construction site in Mwenezi district. The project was identified in 2013 through a community consultative process.

The local community, with the assistance of AFRICARE, mobilised resources and purchased 460 bags of cement to kick-start the project as the answer to the constant water shortages in the area. However it was abandoned in 2014 due to a shortage of resources.

“We had only constructed a very small portion of the dam wall and one single storage tank when resources ran out.  We approached various organisations for assistance, but to no avail,” said Risimati Palate, chairperson of the project implementation team, which comprises members of the community.

Work at the construction site resumed early this year after the World Food Programme came to the rescue with resources for the construction of the weir under its Cash–Food for asset programme. Under this programme, able-bodied, food-insecure people receive food rations to meet their immediate needs while they work to create or rehabilitate assets that will increase their resilience in future.

Local WFP programmes officer, Farai Mukwende, said a total of 70 households will benefit from the project.

“The water from the dam will be used for domestic purposes as well as for livestock. Under this project, the beneficiaries have also identified and cleared a piece of land where they are going to set up a nutrition garden. Households will be allocated land in the garden,” said Mukwende.
The fully completed dam is expected to hold about 12,500 cubic metres of water.

Palate said that, depending on the availability of water, the local community plans to allocate more villagers with land for the purpose of starting nutrition gardens.

“We are also planning to introduce projects such as fish breeding and packaging. We are already scouting for potential partners who can assist us to achieve this goal, “he said.

WFP in partnership with Mwenezi Development Training Centre (MDTC) supports a total of 17 projects in eight wards in Mwenezi, the largest district in Masvingo. A total of 2,825 people, mostly women, are involved in and benefit from these projects.


  • comment-avatar
    toperasu 7 years ago

    Hold up– 12500 cubic meters. This is an evaporation pan and will not sustain gardening in Mwenezi. Elementary hydrology and knowledge of this area and having built a number of dams in Mwenezi, the yield is about 2000 cubic meters, less if the level of siltation is high on this stream. This is a look good project where false hope has been given to the community. Mwenezi’s evaporation rates are very high that any small dam less than 250000 cubic meters is a waste of time, money and effort.

  • comment-avatar
    jongwe power 7 years ago

    At least they have something to water their crops with. Compare that with the Tokwe Mukosi area.

    • comment-avatar
      toperasu 7 years ago

      It takes about 1000 cubic meters to irrigate 1 Ha per crop rotation. The yield (actual usable water after evaporation and seepage) in this area is about .1 to .25 which gives us 1250 to 3125. Account for fauna and domestic use which will need about .5 of the yield you have 625 to 1562 cubic meters left for farming. Siltation can wipe this in one season and you will have a siltation trap or evaporation pan. You cannot compare this to Tokwe Mukosi which is close to a billion times bigger than this fish pond. I could quote a number of wasted project funds of such fish ponds in Bikita, Mwenezi, Chivi, Silobela. This community has nothing. The only thing notable is their non project is complete while a viable project (Tokwe Mukosi) is not complete after 15 years and 25 years of planning. Indeed Tokwe Mukosi has consumed 30 years of engineering hours plus construction costs. That is regrettable. It is also regrettable that a community is built a white elephant.