"We are thankful for the efforts that have been put by GOAL and WFP as we have managed to do buying and selling foodstuffs as we wait work continuing with our activities at the irrigation scheme. Our lives are changing for the better, thank you for your support,” she said beaming with joy. "
A weir dam destroyed by Cyclone Idai a year ago leaving vulnerable families food insecure has been repaired by the local community with support from GOAL and the WFP.
The destruction of the dam directly affected 280 households who depended on dam water for crop production. The farmers lost sugar beans, maize, vegetables, tomatoes and onions that they irrigated at the scheme.
Through WFP and GOAL support, communities were mobilised under a Food for Assets initiative to participate in the rehabilitation of the damaged structure as part of the Zimbabwe IDAI Recovery Project (ZIRP) in July 2019.
The project got 380 people (246 females and 134 males) involved in the construction of the dam, working 15 days a month, five hours a day. In return, they got a monthly allowance to cater for their household needs.
One of those who worked on the project was 30-ear-old Ms Tendai Dube. “We started working on the site in 2019 after our dam wall was destroyed by Cyclone IDAI. My family lost income since we used to produce crops for sale at the irrigation scheme. This initiative has enabled me to buy maize meal for my family in the last few months.”
The weir dam wall rehabilitation is now complete and the community is now working together to connect pipes that will link and supply water from the dam to the irrigation scheme. There is excitement in the communities now hopeful that their lives will be restored once the scheme is fully accessing water.
A beneficiary of the rehabilitation work is Ms. Tatenda Sithole (27) who said the project has brought positive changes in the lives of community members.
“We are thankful for the efforts that have been put by GOAL and WFP as we have managed to do buying and selling foodstuffs as we wait work continuing with our activities at the irrigation scheme. Our lives are changing for the better, thank you for your support,” she said beaming with joy.
Ms. Mercy Moyo, the GOAL Project Manager for the Food for Assets project, said: “The weir dam rehabilitation initiative has brought a lot of relief to the community. About 64% of the beneficiaries are women, an indication that the women have access and control of financial resources to cater for their household needs. Some of the beneficiaries do not own any land except that at the irrigation scheme. This means that with adequate water they will be able to grow crops for household consumption and for sale,” she said.
Once rehabilitation is complete, farmers will dedicate their time on farming activities at the irrigation scheme. This will open more income-generating options for them as they will sell their produce to local markets. Adequate food will also improve nutrition for vulnerable households as they will grow for household consumption at the irrigation scheme.
“The Zimbabwe Idai Recovery Project (ZIRP) is funded by the World Bank, managed by UNOPS and implemented by FAO, UNICEF, UNOPS, WFP and WHO”.