Villagers in Machiki Village 21 have welcomed Government's Causeway Dam project which will transform their lives by enabling them to farm all year round.
Causeway Dam is located 30km from Marondera and is now 98 percent complete. It is now 66 percent full with a capacity of 49 000 mega litres. Causeway Dam will provide water to Machiki Irrigation Scheme earmarked for local farmers and villagers who were moved to pave way for its construction a few years back.
After the tour, Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Aplonia Munzveregwi said the dam construction was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, but Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) engineers were finalising the project.
She said plans were underway to engage President Mnangagwa to commission the project before the end of the month.
"Government released $2,7 million to relocate the families that were affected by the dam construction.
"The move to settle the affected families near the dam was promoted by the idea that they had to benefit from the water source through irrigation schemes," she said.
One of the villager, Oliver Chomuenzi said the dam would provide them with a source of living
"We are overwhelmed with the Government's Causeway Dam project, which will provide us with water all year round.
"Considering the proximity of our irrigation scheme to the dam, it will also help us to cut costs since we will be pumping water directly from the dam.
"We are going to be able to generate income all year round. We are looking forward to produce crops like tobacco, wheat and maize and sugar beans," he said.
Another villager Ms Nyarai Hodza said they were missing their hectarage target because of the unavailability of water.
"As Machiki Irrigation Scheme farmers we can't wait to start pumping water from Causeway Dam. All along we have been relying on the rains which affected our yields," she said.
Mr Alois Madondo said, "The drought that hit the country for the past years was holding us back. We were pumping water from Macheke River, but it eventually dried up, thereby affecting our crops. Our Government has come to our rescue and we are looking forward to generating more income through farming."
Ms Nancy Kanengoni said; "The construction of Causeway Dam has given us hope as it will provide sufficient water for our irrigation scheme. This will boost our agricultural production and we might need more land in the future."
Machiki Irrigation Scheme Agritex officer Mr Francis Nyamanhindi said the dam construction has boosted confidence.
"Farmers from this area were facing challenges because of unavailability of water, and it limited their hectarage target. For instance, last season there was a section where they had planted wheat. Unfortunately they had to reduce their hectarage because there was insufficient water to irritate their targeted hectarage.
"Now that our Government has constructed Causeway Dam, it will help our farmers to plan their farming activities properly without being afraid of missing their target," he said.
Causeway Dam is expected to provide water to Marondera town and Marondera University of Agricultural Science and Technology for both domestic and industrial purposes.
Upon completion, areas that are going to benefit from the dam are Svosve in Mashonaland East and Chiduku in Manicaland.