On the plateau of Hozvi Mountain is a flat arable land of very deep soils on which Shereni Village is located. Shereni Village is in Chief Mukanganwi, West of Bikita Administration Offices.
A lively irrigation scheme is a testimony of how some communities are able to preserve nature to their advantage. Just like any irrigation scheme, it is all green with wheat and people take turns on the fields both for watering and chasing away wild animals.
But, what’s so special about this irrigation scheme? It’s all about how the community managed to divert perennial water flow from Chisanhu Stream through a canal to offload the water into small land dams. This was done without disturbing the natural mix. No tree was cut when a soil moulded canal was used to channel to the irrigation plots. Closer to each field are ponds constructed with mere soil, nothing man- made.
The water used in the fields flows across to Chidafana stream that runs on the eastern side of the plots. Both Chisanhu and Chidafana stream court each other towards Turwi River, where they pour their waters. This is done so beautifully that one wonders whether it was naturally done or manmade. Truth be told, it was the art of men’s harmonious control of nature.
According to Kudzai Manyande, the Chairperson of the scheme,
“The government used to give us seed, but now we can buy the seed on our own. As we do not incur any maintenance cost, save for the fence, we realize the best out of our sweat. The only artificial things used are fertilizers and chemicals for treating diseases.”
The villagers around the place are self-reliant. According to Anthony Banga:
“The 43 households in the irrigation scheme send their children to school. They have enough of all their meals, Breakfast, Lunch and Supper. We don’t scrounge for food and money. We may not have too much money but enough for our daily purchases.”
The only challenge of the area is accessibility. Stephen Makomboni, one of the drivers of a mushika mushika Honda Fit bemoans the state of the roads.
“The roads here are too bad, so badly corrugated and potholed that we have no option but to charge very exorbitant fares as much as US$5 for a short distance of 15km.”
Portia Tembo implored the government to introduce ZUPCO transport services.
“We need cheaper transport services like ZUPCO. It’s surprising that the government provides subsidised transport to urbanites at the expense of rural areas.”
The Shereni Irrigation Scheme is a living lesson for many. People should not let water flow past their homes without utilizing it to change their lives.