Water irrigation empowers village farmers

Jan 25, 2017

By Crislyn Felisilda, Sibongumusa Ncube; Edited by Leanna Cappiello


On the dry and dusty road to Thamsanga Makhuyana’s village, the effect of the prolonged drought is evident — crops, grasses and even trees are yellow and brown.

“We’ve experienced drought before, but this year is the worst,” says Thamsanqa. But amidst the dry is a surprising expanse of green – 15 hectares; a stark contrast to the surrounding landscape.

When World Vision began working in this area, warnings about climate change echoed worldwide. Prolonged drought, caused by El Nino, has affected nearly four million people in Zimbabwe and drastically reduced farming yields, leaving thousands of livestock dead.

In light of the prolonged water crisis, World Vision worked with the community to establish a new irrigation system, using water from a nearby dam. This source of water has become a lifeline for local farmers like Thamsanga.

With the water irrigation system in place, these farmers can be independent, selling wheat to neighbouring villages for much-needed income.

The community has planted and harvested basic and necessary crops such as wheat, onions and maize. This allows families to make their own bread instead of buying it, saving them money and empowering them.

“I’m proud to feed hungry families in our district. We sell our crops to the neighbouring communities so that children can have something to eat,” says Hanana Dube, head of the production committee for the irrigation system which benefits 310 people, including 125 sponsored children. 

Recently, they pooled money together to pay for the school fees of two children whose parents didn’t have enough money.

“We hope our group will be able to provide more harvests to feed more hungry families,” says Thamsanqa. The irrigation system has gifted the farmers with not only a clean water source, but independence and empowerment to provide for other families in need in the village.

Provide the gift of life with clean water and sanitation.