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July 27, 2017

Windmill boreholes change lives for Hurungwe community

By Nhau Mangirazi

Forty-six year old Reverend Agnes Chida does not regret being transferred from Harare to the rural outskirts of Hurungwe in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland West province in 2014.

Rev Chida is married to Rev Shepard Chida and both serve under the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe. They have twin sets of children aged 13 and 19. They live at Chivakanenyama about 60 kilometres West of Karoi.

‘We are enjoying a good life as we are assured of clean water anytime of the day as long as there is wind. Water is readily available and life is simple for us. We have an all-year irrigation facility for our garden, maize field and chicken run,’’ she said beaming with pride.

About 100 meters from their homestead, is a windmill borehole that was installed in 1996 by the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe.  Nearly 200 households are benefitting from the windmill borehole.

Livestock is also benefitting from the available water trench.

As an alternative source of clean energy, the windmill borehole has proved that it can sustain the livelihoods of communities through access to clean water for domestic use and irrigation among other needs.

The windmill borehole which is situated a few meters from the main tarred road linking Magunje and Zvipani under Headman Matawu is a source of inspiration for communities benefiting from renewable energy here.

It captures the visitor’s eye as it is visible from a distance. “Even tourists going to either Nyaminyami or Gokwe, pass through here and get water. No one is charged for the water as water is a God-given natural resource,” added Rev Agnes.

The borehole is used by children from the local primary and secondary schools, the local church and the community at large.

Chivakanenyama Primary School is one of the oldest schools in Hurungwe built by missionaries in 1952 while a secondary school was built in 1966. Currently, there are more than 700 pupils at the primary school and more than 300 attending the secondary school.

Rev Chida explained that the windmill borehole pumps water into two 5,000- litre tanks and another 10,000-litre tank.

‘We are mostly likely to have green maize in August as we are preparing the fields,’ said Rev Agnes Chida. They have an orchard of mangoes, bananas and guava trees.

“The water table is good for us as a community as it is 40 meters deep … so we are assured of water even during drought years,” her husband said.

Joyce Zata, 53, of Ruzende village about three kilometres away, is happy they have access to clean water.

“Unlike in some areas where the water is contaminated as people share it with animals, this windmill borehole has been a good solution to us,” said Zata.

Another villager, Theresa Mapara of Murimbika village agreed that it is good for them as women as they do their laundry chores at the borehole without any challenges.

Headman Chigango said although he is happy with windmill borehole, he is, however, worried by cases of vandalism committed by some members of the community.

‘Our main challenge is that some members of the community have vandalised the windmill of late and … this affects everyone,’’ said Chigango.

Rev Agnes Chida admitted that this was the biggest challenge they are facing.

‘Not everyone understands community ownership in its true sense and we have to endure such challenges. At one time, someone stripped it of some bolts and we had to seek donations to have it repaired,” she said.

Hurungwe Rural District Ward 25 councillor, under whom the area falls, Lovemore Mushawashi, said the availability of water to the communities proves that the some of the rural folk may achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal Number 6.

The Goal calls for policymakers to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

“We may be facing challenges about water and sanitation in our communities but the windmill borehole has proven that it can be easily achieved through natural resources and clean energy,” said Mushawashi in an interview.

 

August 6, 2015

Go and be tested on HIV and AIDS, farmers told

Filed under: Agriculture — Nhaudzenyu @ 2:32 pm
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From Nhau Mangirazi in Siakobvu
Kariba Zanu PF Member of Parliament Isaac Mackenzie has urged farmers to be tested on HIV that causes Aids so that they can be on life supporting anti retro viral drugs as the country is losing farmers to the deadly diseases.
Officially opening Kariba district agricultural show here, Mackenzie bemoaned the wiping out of farmers due to HIV and AIDS though it is the backbone of the country’s economy.

Kariba MP Iisaac Mackenzie handing over seed maize packet to a winner in siakobvu.Photo....By Nhau Mangirazi

Kariba MP Isaac Mackenzie handing over seed maize packet to a winner in Siakobvu.  Photo….By Nhau Mangirazi

Mackenzie said, ‘’We are losing a lot of farmers who are shying away from being tested on HIV so that they can get life supporting drugs. Although I am still yet to get official statistics on this topical issue, many of the players in the farming sector have died due to HIV and AIDS and it impacts negatively on the turn-round for our economy that is agro based. I am urging you all that we must be tested as farming is one weakest areas on unprotected sex that mainly contributes to spread of HIV and AIDS’’ said Mackenzie.
However the drought prone district had positive results when farmers from Mola’s Ward 3 scooped most of the prizes in small grains, sowing, vegetable, commercial farming as well as livestock management.
One of the judges accused some of the participants of cheating.
‘’We are sorry that some participants had the tenacity of cheating by buying some products especially bakery category. We are judging to assist how you can be economically viable but once you cheat, it therefore means we are aiming to empower you through these competitions’’ said the judge.
Farmers from remote Mola scooped fifteen prizes and won wheelbarrows,

shovels, seed maize, blankets among other items

December 6, 2011

Desperate villagers face starvation after good harvest

Filed under: Agriculture — Nhaudzenyu @ 12:33 am

HURUNGWE- Karuru business centre is now deserted as you can hardly see any activity during the night or day as it used to do a month ago.

Situated about 45 kilometres north east of Karoi town under Chief Kazangarare, it had become a lively rural business area where villagers could meet and drink to literally forget their problems away all night long.

Many of these business centres throughout Hurungwe district are suffering the same fate as communal farmers prepare for the forthcoming farming season, though they had better harvest last season.

Villagers used to have cash on them that was coming their way after selling maize from their last season’s mean harvest that they knew could not last long.

Desperate villagers sold part of the maize that could have seen them through the next harvest but they were lured by money that some had to spend drinking here.

Villagers were meeting buyers from as far as Masvingo, Ngundu, Gutu among other areas throughout the country who could come to get maize for resell in their areas.
This made the rather passive rural business centre with aging shop walls showing off hard years gone by but giving out a lively place to be as it was good for partying villagers.
Now it is a pale shadow of itself and buyers are spending more than two weeks to get 50 kilograms of maize.
‘’Villagers here no longer have maize to spare and we are spending more time without any hope to get it. It was one of reliable suppliers of maize and villager were accommodative but now you can hardly see them here’’ says Nedson Moyo a maize buyer from Ngundu situated over 700 kilometres away from Karuru.

He had brought with him groceries among them sugar, soap cooking oil for barter trade if they demand it but no one is forth coming with the maize.

‘’It used to be clean business for everyone but I am loosing hope as these villagers are no longer have maize but I had orders from Ngundu.’’ he says.
Moyo is among maize buyers who had flooded Hurungwe and says he used to buy 20 kilograms of maize for as little as US$2. 50 before it were increased to US$4 though it was fetching US$10.00.

‘’Maize is still in great demand in Masvingo and other areas where people are facing starvation due to poor rains’’ he adds.

Ironically here in Hurungwe villagers are now facing starvation after they sold their harvest for a song. They were despair to make ends meet as the ‘’elusive dollar continue to knock down’’ on its causalities country wide, as Moyo sums up.

‘’We were desperate and now we are starving. Though we were selling it in bits and pieces, we are regretting now’’ says 65 year old Mbuya Matilda Karambamuchero of Chimwanja village.

In Karambazungu under Chief Matau, villagers blame the Grain Marketing Board for its failure to pay farmers on time.

‘’If GMB was paying us on time then we could have sold it there and bought something tangible but alas we are counting our losses’’ adds Martin Muchera.

GMB, one of the loss making government parastatal is seeking funding from the treasury to pay up farmers who delivered maize in May.

‘’Villagers go through this nearly every year and will never learn’ laments an agriculture extension worker who declines to be named.
‘’Hurungwe farmers have the good rains pattern and better soils to thank that their starvation is limited not in Masvingo where it is perennial‘’ he concludes.

December 4, 2011

Dry spell affects tobacco in Hurungwe

Filed under: Agriculture,News — Nhaudzenyu @ 8:50 am

HURUNGWE- The dry spell currently being experienced in some parts of the country has affected dry land tobacco for small holder farmers here.
A survey conducted around some rural areas and farms in Hurungwe has revealed that the tobacco that had been planted is now drying up due to lack of rains.
‘’Generally tobacco can do better without rains for some time but this dry spell has affected my crop and am planning to use the fields for other crops as I have run out of seed’’ said farmer Josiah Mupamombe in Tengwe area, 50 kilometers east of Karoi.
He had 3 hectares under dry land tobacco though the irrigation pipes he had were vandalized by fellow settlers at the farm.
In Hurungwe north under Chief Kazangarare, rural farmers are bemoaning the dry spell that has affected their tobacco saying if the rains do not make it within a week they will be counting losses.
‘’We were living under false hope after being assured by weather prediction that there will be a wet spell with early days of December but we are witnessing high temperatures without any rains and it has affected our crops. We can not irrigate the crop as there are no dams nearby’’ said Raimos Matesanwa of Matesanwa village.
An Agriculture extension worker confirmed that some parts of Hurungwe had been affected by the dry spell.
‘’Farmers have to endure this but some resettled farmers had irrigation pipes within their farms vandalized and it will need the Government intervention to rejuvenate the farming sector that has been affected by lack of managerial skills. We hope they have seen the need of irrigation pipes in case we go through these hard times for more years as a nation’’ said the official who declined to be named as he has no authority to speak to the press.
Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector is transforming itself following a decade long social, economical and political crisis.
Finance minister Tendai Biti allocated US$15 million to sustain the current irrigation rehabilitation and development program targeting 56 scheme. This will see farmers utilising water in dams.

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