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Picture 01: Simangani irrigation

CARITAS Hwange has completed the establishment of the 6 hectare Simangani irrigation scheme in Simangani ward. There are 71 households participating in the project.
CARITAS Hwange, through the support of CARITAS Australia, purchased and erected the perimeter fence at the irrigation scheme. The community contributed labour to erect the fence and remove tree stumps. CARITAS Hwange engaged a private company to install a solar powered water engine and a 360m water conveyance piping to the proposed reservoir tank, to pump water for the irrigation. The community constructed the reservoir tank.
The project was initiated by the community after identifying the irrigation site and the water source. The community mobilization meetings were held to get the buy in of the entire community. It was emphasized at the meetings that CARITAS Hwange could only commit itself to the project if the community took ownership of the project and participated fully in the project. The community leadership undertook to spearhead community participation. Strategies on how the implementation of the project was going to take place were worked out together with the community. The community set up the project committee comprising seven (7) people that constituted four (4) women and three (3) men. The committee supervised all the works at the irrigation site and took stock of all the irrigation materials and tools delivered. They maintained a duty roaster for the members. The project members, including women, were involved in the construction of canals and the reservoir tank. The committee and the community at large worked very closely with the government agricultural officers from both the Irrigation and Agritex departments. A number of trainings, including Internal Savings and Lendings (ISALs), good agricultural practices, gender mainstreaming and climate change were conducted by CARITAS Hwange for the project members.
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Picture 02: Canal construction in progress at Simangani Irrigation Site
The irrigation scheme is composed of four blocks of irrigation beds. Two blocks have been planted and the other two blocks will soon be planted. The project members planted maize in the first block and were able to harvest maize grain. The families were able to improve their nutritional status. Members were also able to sell the green mealies whose proceeds went towards purchasing other food stuffs and paying school fees. One of the members, Mr. Ncube, was able to pay first term school fees for his two children attending secondary school. Social cohesion has been enhanced by the establishment of the scheme. The members work as a team and assist each other in the watering of the crops, especially those who are labour constrained.

Picture 03: Irrigation canal watering the first block

 


Picture 04 :Ms Beatina Mudenda

Participation in the irrigation scheme:
Ms Mudenda participated in the project by providing labour in clearing the irrigation site. She was also involved in the construction of the canals and the water reservoir.
Impact of the project:
The involvement of Ms Mudenda in the establishment of the irrigation scheme has improved her relationship with other members of the community. Her dignity has been restored as she can now work forherself at the scheme. She does not need to wait for handouts from other people.
Project Outcome:
Ms Mudenda planted maize in the first block of the irrigation scheme and was able to harvest some green mealies which she consumed with her family and sold the excess.  The proceeds from the sale of the green mealies went towards purchasing other foodstuffs and buying clothes for her children. She also regained her dignity.

 

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