By Trust Rukwava

ZAKA- Widely-known Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe (PAOZ) has
answered the call for a wholesome conservation approach in rural
communities after they intervened to save Matsika Irrigation scheme
which had been neglected for a long time.
The irrigation scheme which is imbedded in Matsika village draws water
from Zvoushe Dam under the jurisdiction of Chief Nhema.
After years of poor management and lack of any interest by outsiders
to rescue the project, the Matsika Irrigation Scheme is set to
rediscover its vibrancy again, as it is growing in leaps and bounces
amid commitment from PAOZ to support the project.
Initially, villagers had not option than to improvise and use tins but
the church donated a movable solar-powered pump which, a positive
response to calls for communities to embrace environmental friendly

movable solar-powered pump

Locals within the community who own small plots have embraced the idea
of going green and the need to engage in environmental responsive
agriculture through the assistance of PAOZ.
Matsika village head, Pearson Matsika, is an elated man over the
installation of the Solar Powered Irrigation system which he vowed to
guard jealously.
“We are grateful and forever indebted to the PAOZ church that pledged
to support our irrigation scheme through a solar powered pump and
installation of Jojo tanks. It had always been our plea to upgrade and
fully utilize this scheme. This is the best thing that has ever
happened to our community in years, we will make sure it’s always in
the right shape,” said Matsika.
Nemia Mhaka, chairperson of the scheme who was part of the first group
of villagers to be taught how to use and operate the portable solar
powered booster pump, expressed optimism that the conservation project
would go a long way in improving livelihoods.
“The church is running a lot of conservation projects in and around
our area. As the village chairperson, I am in charge of the pump and
efficient use of water, as well as educating fellow villagers about
smart farming methods which are environmentally friendly. Once all the
logistics are in place, I’m hopeful our lives will change for good if
we manage to fully utilize what has been set up for us,” said Mhaka.
PAOZ Social Concerns Director, Billy Ngoreta said: “The program is
being implemented in Gutu and Zaka in collaboration with key
government ministries; Agritex and Social Welfare. We are supporting
recovery and developmental initiatives meant at ensuring food and
nutrition security for smallholder farmers who were greatly affected
by Covid-19.”
Some of the initiatives which are being targeting to be include; crop
and livestock production, provision of agricultural inputs, communal
gardens and livestock production and over 120 households are expected
to benefit.
The use of solar powered pumps has received much appreciation as it
has less effects on the environment that carbon emissions from burning
fossil fuels.

This report was made possible through support from WAN-IFRA’s Strengthening African Media Project: Environmental and Climate Change Reporting. Views Expressed here do not belong to WAN-IFRA.