Private sector engagement set to improve access to water by smallholder famers.
Access to clean and potable water is a necessity for everyone, especially women of child bearing age to reduce the burden of care and enable them to have enough time to take care of the babies at home. Amongst the four farmers ,one of whom is female, from Chivi district of Masvingo province, were linked to borehole driller Chapeta Fresh Water Suppliers and water reticulation contractor Rezom Investments to improve their access to potable water. The farmers were among 83 farmers, 59 percent women and 12 percent youth, who participated in the World Water Day commemorations held every March 22. This year’s theme was “Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible.” Although Chivi is very dry, there is plenty of underground water that farmers can access to increase incomes and food security through livestock and cropping activities.
Chapeta Fresh Water Suppliers is charging $150 for surveying and $1,500 for drilling a 40-meter-deep borehole. On the other hand, Rezom Investments charge $2,500 for the installation of a water reticulation system that includes a 0.75 horsepower solar pump, three 275-watt solar panels, 5,000-liter tank, steel tank stand, and relevant electrical fitting and water conveyance materials. To raise the funds required, the farmers are culling unproductive cattle from their herds and will pair the proceeds from the sale with their own personal savings. ‘‘l am happy with FARM’s initiative to make us aware of the possibility of access to ground water. Bringing private partners right to our doorstep helped us in decision making with the hope of improving both our cropping and livestock production seeing that climate is changing,” said Lucia Musera, who is planning to have solar-powered water reticulation installed on her 20-meter deep well.
The FARM Activity is encouraging smallholder farmers to invest in potable water to increase resilience in the face of unpredictable weather patterns, improve agricultural production and productivity, create new streams of income from the sale of surplus produce and improve adoption of good water, sanitation, and hygiene behaviors. To date, 23 farmers (57 percent women) in the Activity’s focus areas have invested $32,265 in boreholes, deep wells, and water reticulation accessories.