President Mnangagwa yesterday commissioned the $8 million Chombwe Piped Water Scheme in Chivi.
The project was financed through Government’s devolution funds.
President Mnangagwa said the devolution programme would transform the lives of the rural folk over the next five years through financing the development of piped water schemes that will supply water for domestic consumption, irrigation and livestock.
The Chombwe scheme had been mothballed for nearly 25 years owing to the breakdown of infrastructure to pump, store and convey water.
Nearly 10 000 households in arid Chivi North and Central constituencies will benefit from the scheme through the supply of piped raw water, with an estimated 5 000 hectares expected to be put under irrigation.
Water is pumped from Tokwe River, downstream of Muzhwi Dam and conveyed to homesteads, schools, clinics and business centres covering five wards between Mhandamabwe Business Centre and Chivi Growth Point.
He hailed devolution saying under the Second Republic, communities would choose their own priority projects to drive development.
“What we now have is a situation whereby Harare will no longer dictate what is wanted in outlying parts of the country. Under the Second Republic, we now have a new way of doing things where communities decide their own projects that will be funded under devolution and we are very impressed with ground that has been covered in a short space of time with 74 projects having been funded in Masvingo this year alone which was impossible if Harare was dictating the pace like before,” said President Mnangagwa.
“Projects like this (Chombwe scheme) will be replicated in other parts of the country and after the coming of the Second Republic we were told of this mothballed project and decided to fund it under devolution and here we are today.
“So we will definitely undertake similar projects all parts of the country over the next five years.”
“We have started the war against hunger here in Chivi that will spread to all parts of the country within the next five years and we want our people to be able to grow enough food for themselves while also stocking GMB and growing other crops for sale.
“Our thrust is all year round crop production with schemes like these so there will be no excuse for failure,” said President Mnangagwa.
Besides crop production, communal farmers could also diversify into fruit trees while having sufficient water to grow their livestock herds for local consumption and export.
In his address to hundreds of people at Jenya Secondary School in Chivi North, President Mnangagwa highlighted inroads made by devolution funding hailing the programme as a game changer for the country’s economy.
“The future is bright. We can see that the future is bright. What has been a problem is the magnitude of hardships where we are coming from but the future is bright,” he said.
President Mnangagwa said his Governmnet would continue investing in dams, roads and bridges using local resources to drive the economy.
President Mnangagwa handed over agricultural inputs to traditional leaders from Chivi and surrounding areas.