by Steven Jacobson, Takaliawa (Matebeleland South), Zimbabwe
Water in Takaliawa's farming fields is precious. There is no irrigation. All water for the fields is from rainfall (250 mm a year). The rains are very sporadic (mostly during October and December) and intense. The intensity is so high that it causes large-scale erosion. Sheet wash, rills, and gullies form in the fields as well as in the deforested surrounding areas. Erosion control and water management is a favorite topic for my workshop series.
by Robert Joppa, Gumira, Chipinge District, Zimbabwe
At the borehole of Kraal head Mapangana, both Mapangana and Mrs. Diki, a government health worker, maintain the pump. They charge $35 in Zimbabwean money a year for unlimited use. The clinic's borehole is managed by Mr. Mukway, the nurse in charge, and Mr. Mufumu, the Ward 22 secretary and Gumira businessman. They charge $10 in Zimbabwean money every three months for unlimited use. The Dakate River borehole is managed by the Gumira Primary School. Use of it is paid through school fees. We have an irrigation scheme six kilometers north of town, where many farmers plant vegetables during the dry season and corn during the rainy season. The scheme is divided into five blocks, each with its own committee for management. My host father pays $1,000 Zimbabwean per hectare per season, or $3,000 a year.
by Christopher Thomas, Masonga/Samhutsa, Zimbabwe
On the community level, water use is controlled by the local district government. Farmers must get permission from the local agricultural extension officer and get a certificate from the district council to use the water to irrigate their fields or gardens. The district council usually requires the farmers to have pipes instead of irrigation ditches, so that less water will be wasted from filtration into the soil or through evaporation. Water-use issues that affect more than one farmer are usually handled by the agricultural officer in the district council. In families, water use is controlled by the mother or the grandmother, who either fetches water herself or sends children down to the river or spring to get water for cooking, washing, or bathing.