Idle irrigation schemes in Matabeleland South are set to be resuscitated through a solar powered water system.

In a bid to resuscitate irrigation schemes the Gwanda district council has given Practical Action, a non-governmental organisation the permission to work with the locals in installing solar powered systems on idle irrigation schemes.

A lot of irrigation schemes that were handed over to the locals have been lying idle with some blaming lack of funds to repair the broken boreholes and the maintenance of the scheme in general as the main cause.

Speaking after the inception meeting Practical Action regional director Mr Kudzai Marovanidze highlighted the project would benefit the community as the farmers would not have to rely on the rains which are now erratic due to climate change in the southern region.

For a start the organisation has identified three irrigation schemes which are 20 hectares each and other 15 small schemes they will partner, says Practical Action project manager Southern Africa Melody Makumbe.

Farmers in Matabeleland South are amongst the worst affected by climate change as the region which is naturally under semi arid continues to experience erratic rainfall patterns.