Irrigation scheme gets a solar irrigation power plant

Fungayi Munyoro-Chingaira

CHIPINGE-Maunganidze irrigation scheme in Chipinge got a shot in the arm after the installation of a 130 Kv power plant solar for 84 smallholder farmers.
The United Nations Population Services(UNOPS) installed a power plant to help draw water from Save River and power borehole pumps for the 65,5 hectares irrigation scheme.

The Maunganidze irrigation scheme was heavily affected by Cyclone Idai, which destroyed irrigation pumps, perimeter fences and water canals.
Speaking during the portfolio committee on the Local Government programme for the fact-finding visit on utilisation of the national disaster fund, the scheme chairperson Lovemore Muboko said the installation of the solar plant by UNOPS is a game changer to the community, which relies much on the irrigation scheme.

“We are going to guard jealously this plant installed by the development partner. The irrigation scheme was greatly affected by the continued power cuts. We are happy that UNOPS has donated the plant.
“We are going to safeguard the project, and after the installation of the plant, plot holders managed to contribute money to purchase a camera system for the security of the solar panel. The system is direct and only works with sunlight,” he said Muboko.

Chipinge district development coordinator Willaim Mashava said the Maunganidze irrigation scheme is now good as when it started.
“It’s true that Cyclone Idai greatly affected this scheme. Farming cash crops and selling them along the road was their source of living,” said Mashava

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