Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
ZANU PF Politburo Member, Dr Aron Maboyi has called on Government and its partners to fully utilise the Zhovhe Dam in Beitbridge West to boost Agriculture in the district.
He said the dam was a major resource that could be used to address water challenges in the border town and turn the area into a green belt.
Dr Maboyi said Beitbridge people had only themselves to blame if they do not make use of important natural resources in their area to turn around their lives.
He made the remarks last week during a party interface meeting in Swereki area.
“We have many resources within our area which we can use to boost agriculture production,” said Dr Maboyi.
He said people could mitigate the effects of the prevailing drought by cultivating crops under irrigation using water from sources such as Zhovhe Dam.
“The advantage we have is that the dam is at a high place and can distribute water to most places here through gravitation,” said Dr Maboyi.
He said it was important to involve traditional leaders and members of the community when implementing projects that affect their well-being.
This, he said, will help get their buy in and promote progress rather than imposing programmes on the people.
Dr Maboyi said Beitbridge had a lot of investment opportunities especially around livestock production and related industries, irrigation based farming, tourism, infrastructure development among others.
“We need to have a serious self-introspection as members of the community and identify areas where we have potential and where we are getting it wrong to achieve our goals. We can do more if we stick to a culture of consulting each other,” said Dr Maboyi.
It is believed that Zhovhe Dam with a carrying capacity of 133 million cubic metres can supply Beitbridge town with water for three years even if it does not rain. The town needs a daily average of 18 mega litres of water.
Beitbridge Paramount Chief Vho Stauze (David Mbedzi) recently urged Government to avail funds for the construction of the Zhovhe-Beitbridge 63km water canal. The project is expected to turn the area into a greenbelt through the setting up of irrigation schemes.
The town draws its water from Zhovhe dam and the Limpopo River. Zhovhe Dam was constructed in 1995 and is among the 10 biggest water bodies in the country.