Solar pump inspires big dreams at village garden

27 Oct, 2021 - 00:10 0 Views
Solar pump inspires big dreams at village garden Ngwenyama Nutrition Garden in Gwanda

The Chronicle

Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Chronicle Reporter
VILLAGERS operating at Ngwenyama Nutrition Garden in Gwanda District expect improved production following the installation of a solar system at their garden, a development they regard as a new dawn in ensuring food and nutrition security for their families.

The one-hectare garden, which was established in 2013, has 27 beneficiaries and is located 500 metres from Ngwenyama Dam.

Villagers said the dam was lying idle and could be used to transform lives if their garden is upgraded into an irrigation scheme.

Villagers had to walk to the dam to collect water in buckets for their crops at the garden. This was affecting the quality of their crop as they could not carry sufficient water.

The Brethren in Christ Church, through its compassionate and development services, installed a solar system and taps at the garden to ease water challenges. Farmers are now collecting water for their crops from taps in the garden.

The project has been a major source of livelihood for the beneficiaries and a major food source for the community who buy vegetables from the garden.

Crops at the garden include chomolia, butternut, onions and tomatoes.

A member of the gardening scheme, Ms Ella Moyo said when the project was established in 2013, they had good produce due to favourable rains. She said off late they have been producing mainly for consumption, but the solar system may help them produce more.

“Our level of production has been dictated by availability of water. The crops we were producing couldn’t even compete with produce from other gardens as it was in a poor state. Now that the water is there then we will have quality produce which is highly competitive,” she said.

Ms Ella Moyo

Ms Moyo said they were going to introduce more crops at the garden. She said ever since the solar system was installed in their garden the condition of their crops had improved.

Ms Thokozani Maimbodeyi who is the secretary of the garden said they had one hectare under irrigation but their garden had three hectares of arable land. She said it has always been their desire to expand the garden and turn it into an irrigation.

Ms Maimbodeyi said they had to put those plans on hold because of water challenges. She said now that the garden had water they could start working on its expansion. Ms Maimbodeyi said once the garden is expanded it would accommodate more beneficiaries. She said in the long run it was their desire to be allocated more land which they could use to establish a bigger irrigation scheme.

Ms Thokozani Maimbodeyi

“It has always been our desire to see our garden being turned into an irrigation scheme which can feed many families. There is Ngwenyama Dam close to the garden which holds water throughout the year. This dam can be used to supply water to the irrigation.

“Once our yield at the irrigation improves then we can realise more profits that we can use to establish an irrigation.

We also appeal to well wishers who can come in with financial assistance so that we can transform the garden into an irrigation,” she said.

Another member, Ms Regina Ncube said their level of production has been in the past affected by water challenges.

“We have been operating from this garden since 2013 but we were facing serious challenges in watering our crops. It was hard work for us to go and collect water from the dam which is about 500 metres away.

We would take buckets and go and collect water and then come back with it. We were supposed to make several trips.

As old as I am, it was very difficult for me to carry a lot of water which would be enough for my crops. We ended up planting a few crops which we could manage to water,” she said.

Ms Regina Ncube

Ms Ncube said the water challenges had also constrained them in expanding their garden.

Manonkwe village head, Mr Thomas Nyoni said there was need for an irrigation scheme in the area in order to sustain a lot of families. He said the dam was lying idle and could be used to transform lives. Mr Nyoni said upgrading of the garden was a step in the right direction.–@DubeMatutu

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