Chiredzi – The long wait to have new pumps installed at Chilonga irrigation scheme has ended with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) completing the work as directed by Davies Marapira, who is the deputy agriculture minister.
In a press statement Zinwa Corporate Communications and Marketing Manager, Marjorie Munyonga said the project was now complete.
"ZINWA successfully completed the installation of pumps at Chilonga Irrigation Scheme in Chilonga Communal Lands under Chief Sengwe in Chiredzi South," said Manyonga.
She said only two of the three procured pumps were installed since the structure could not hold more pumps, and added that the revival of the irrigation scheme will benefit many farmers in the area and has the potential to feed 5 000 people.
Munyonga however revealed that the pumps could not be tested as yet due to the low levels of water in the Runde River, which feeds the irrigation scheme.
"After installation of the first pump was completed over the weekend, the test run only lasted for two minutes as the water level was too low in the wet pit," said Munyonga.
She said that the community, through its local leadership, has approached Hippo Valley Estates for assistance with earth moving equipment so that water can be diverted to the side of the wet pits to enable full test runs.
Chilonga irrigation Scheme was formed in 1964 and it used to feed 5 000 people until it broke down in 2007 and has been lying in disrepair ever since.
Chiredzi South MP, Callisto Gwanetsa was pleased with the new developments, saying the irrigation scheme will help farmers fight the effects of drought by increasing food production.news