Villagers re-build dam

Villagers from Umguza’s Ward 8 in Matabeleland North province are in the process of constructing a dam in a bid to mitigate water woes facing the community.

This is the first development project for approximately 300 resettled farmers in Seabrough (Makwati) farm since their resettlement in 2000.

Umguza Ward 8 Village Development Community Officer Themba Tshuma said there were serious water problems in their area and hence villagers saw it fit to resuscitate “Kariba dam”, as the dam is known in Umguza.

“As villagers, we have taken it upon ourselves to do something that will benefit us and our livestock instead of always appealing to the government for assistance,” said Tshuma.

“We have used bags filled with sand to cover the gap in the dam wall and this will be reinforced with sand, stones and cement. We still need empty bags and money to pay for an excavator or bulldozer that is needed to dig,” he said.

The finished wall will be approximately 15 metres high and once the dam is in place a lot of farming projects in the area would be started.

“This area is ripe for farming and once we have water we will be able to farm successfully as water will be available abundantly all year round,” said Tshuma.

Chairperson for Umguza Ward 8, Mrs Sisa Mpunzi, said she was happy with the development and said this was the first of many projects.

“I am happy that the ward I lead has innovative people who can come up with their own ideas to fend for themselves. We want to develop this area into something big,” she said.

“Most children here when they complete their grade 7 start working in mines and at farms as the closest secondary school is very far and they feel discouraged to continue with their education. The other challenge is that of a clinic so we are working towards building a secondary school and a clinic,” she said.

Mpunzi said she was also working at empowering youths in her ward, as there were fishing and farming projects on the cards.

The village head, Fine Khanye, said livestock would benefit immensely from the dam and appealed to the relevant authorities to assist villagers with its construction.

“We get water from ARDA and that is very far. This dam project is the answer to our prayers. We need financial assistance to complete this project that is our lifeline,” she said.

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