In a bid to ensure food security and self-reliance for the community in Old Mashoko, Bikita, USAID in partnership with other non-governmental organisations has facilitated the construction of Chamanhokwe dam.

Bikita district in Masvingo is among those areas often affected by serious food shortages in times of drought.

The construction of more water bodies in the area is expected to boost the community’s capacity to be self-sufficient in terms of food provision.

80 plot holders are already utilising water from the dam, with more villagers expected to benefit.

“Construction was done by members of the community in 2013 and 2014. There was drought and we responded by looking for possible ways to equip this community, to ensure we have food and nutrition security,” said Care International Programme Manager, Mr Archibald Chikavanga.

Chief Mabika believes that the construction of more weirs will be the permanent solution to food shortages and ensuring communities attain better livelihoods through farming activities where water supply is guaranteed.

Irrigation has often been proffered as the key to ensuring the country becomes food secure.

While the community in Old Mashoko is utilising the recently completed dam to full capacity, there have been concerns that some water bodies like Siya dam in Bikita are not being fully utilised for the benefit of the communities.

Recently, government officials toured Siya dam where they discovered that irrigation equipment for Bengura Irrigation Scheme whose construction started in 2011 is lying idle, with some of it already obsolete before being put to use.