The people of Chiredzi south have called on the government to revive Chilonga Irrigation Scheme which has been lying idle for the past 10 years.
They still dream of the days they used to supply the whole district with fresh produce, yet their market has been taken over by farmers from Chipinge and their area continues to be affected by hunger every year.
Chief Chilonga, speaking to ZBC News said, the people of Chiredzi south remain optimistic that under the new dispensation the irrigation scheme will be revived and enhance their livelihoods.
“Our area continues to deteriorate, we used to supply Chiredzi with fresh vegetables and today our area is affected by hunger every year. We appeal to the government through the minister of state for the revival of this irrigation scheme,” Chief Chilonga said.
Chiredzi south legislator, Retired Brigadier General Callisto Gwanetsa said the irrigation equipment is still new and if revived the system has the capacity to irrigate more than 400 hectares.
“As you can see submissive pumps are available and the whole system is still new it just needs serious people to be revived. As long as this irrigation scheme is not revived, the people of this area will always feel neglected,” he said.
Minister of State for Masvingo Province, Cde Ezra Chadzamira added that government departments implementing projects need to be closely monitored as at times their reports do not tally with what would be obtaining on the ground.
“Under the new dispensation it is important to monitor all government programmes given the reports they present to our offices. Reports are indicating that Chilonga Irrigation Scheme is being revived, however, on the ground it is a different scenario,” Cde Chadzamira said.
Despite it being one of the oldest irrigation schemes established in 1964, with more than 150 hectares of land, Chilonga Irrigation Scheme has been lying idle for the past decade.