Water harvesting technology has empowered communities in Mwenezi to overcome perennial water challenges facing the dry region.

In Matande, a vibrant micro-irrigation has boosted food nutrition and security and provided water for other uses.

The midday heat burns to around 30 degrees at Matande Nutrition Garden in Rutavo Village, Mwenezi district.

Villagers have come together to harvest butternuts with a unity of purpose reminiscent of old time ‘nhimbes’ (communism).

53 year old Miriam Gezani is among scores of people taking part in the harvest and she is elated as growing vegetables in the area Matande was impossible before the community began water harvesting.

The flourishing nutrition garden is a result of rehabilitation of Matande Dam in 2012 and the creation of a weir by the community with funding from the United Nations World Food Programme and support of the Mwenezi Development Trust and Zimbabwe government.

Chairman of the nutrition garden Taurai Moyo says the project has 137 members and all willing residents of the community are open to participate.

Mwenezi Rural Development Council executive officer for agriculture and environment Ms Kudzai Sirewu says Matande has become a shining example of community co-operation.

Apart from providing food and nutrition security, Matande irrigation provides villagers with a reliable supply of water for livestock and domestic use.

Beneficiaries are also supporting the chronically ill, orphans and school children.