Muchekeramwa a Game Changer

by | May 17, 2021 | Business, Local News | 0 comments

Brian Rungano Temba

Apart from the renaming of Causeway Dam to Muchekeramwa Dam as foreshadowed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa at the launch of AFC Commercial bank, Muchekeramwa is set to play a pivotal role in poverty alleviation, national food and nutrition security.
The President’s instruction to the minister of Lands Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement was hinged on the ideal of preserving Zimbabwe’s rich cultural heritage and history.
Muchekeramwa Dam sits on the boundary between Makoni and Marondera districts, which are in Manicaland and Mashonaland East provinces respectively.
Thus the name ‘Muchekeramwa’, a shona word for ‘dividing between’ was derived.
The renaming of the Dam tells more of the Second Republic’s story of inward looking development thrust and how the two provinces have benefited from its people oriented policies.

Located 30 km east of Marondera with a carrying capacity of 75 million cubic litres Machekeramwa Dam is fed by the Macheke River and within the traditional jurisdictions of Chief Svosve, Chief Makoni and Chief Mangwende.
The dam has the capacity to irrigate 2 250 hectares of land thereby assuring the communities adjacent to Makoni and Marondera an opportunity to surpass set targets of irrigated land outlined in the Accelerated Irrigation Rehabilitation and Development Stratergy.

Muchekeramwa Dam was built under the banner of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme, the predecessor of the National Development Stratergy -1.
Its endavour was to increase water retention within the Zimbabwean plateau in sight of climate change and recent droughts the nation has faced.

The dam project is one of the Government funded initiatives that include Marovanyathi dam in Buhere, Gwayi-Shangani Dam in Matebeleland North, Kunzvi Dam north of Harare and Mutange Dam in Gokwe. Government has set aside ZWL$ 10 billion for the construction of more dams around the country.

These include Dande, Semwa, Bindura, Chivhu and Tuli-Manyange Dams. This is testament to the Second Republic’s devotion towards ensuring water security for irrigation, fisheries and human consumption.

On May 16, 2021, President Mnangagwa revisited Muchekeramwa Dam to commission Muchekeramwa Dam and to launch the Presidential Community Fisheries Scheme, Muchekeramwa Irrigation project and to ground break the Muchekeramwa – Wenimbi pipeline.
These three projects snowballing from the completion of the Dam are intended to increase the economic activity within the Makoni and Marondera areas which will drive communities into an upper middle income earning economy, a pragmatic and micromanaged mission vigorously pursued by the Second Republic under the President’s Vision 2030.

Presidential Community Fisheries Project

In his speech at the event President Mnangagwa said that the dam gives stimulus to development related to water and irrigation infrastructure to trigger agriculture growth, increased production, productivity and profitability.
He added that,
“Beneficiary communities, especially youth and women should harness the immense potential of the dam to venture into diverse agriculture projects such as cropping, animal husbandry, fisheries and tourism. High impact and result oriented projects will continue to be implemented by my Government as we accelerate development that leaves no one behind.”
President Mnangagwa also hinted towards the introduction of more snowball developments such as rural industries that are anchored on maximum use of land, increasing mechanization and building community resilience in the face of climate change.

“Riding on the potential of aquaculture, my administration supports the growth of well-coordinated fisheries and aquatic resources industries. Players in this industry must utilize dams and aquatic ecosystems sustainably to enhance national food and nutritional security,” said President Mnangagwa.

He also advised community members with access to the dams and water bodies that Government expects them to pursue collaborative efforts to promote the farming of fish, processing value addition and marketing.
The main goal being to increase the consumption of fish which will enhance the dietary diversity and ultimately a healthy population.

The role of Research, Capital and Partnership in Fish Farming

Marondera University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology was challenged to take initiative to improve agriculture specializations through thorough research and development.
The university was furthermore given the green light, under the thrust of Devolution Agenda, to explore methods of improve agriculture within Mashonaland East paying attention to the province’s vast and unique natural resource endowment.

“The recent launch of the Agricultural Finance Corporation expands the provision of agriculture and rural financial services across the agriculture value-chain. Therefore farmers must not shy away from accessing various agriculture financing products and services,” said President Mnangagwa.

He also called upon the private sector to complement these ongoing efforts in the provision of financial products and services to propel the on-going agriculture revolution.

To the intuitive mind, this is a potential billion dollar industry, an opportunity for the trailblazers to perch as top tier players of the fish industry.
It makes economic sense to invest and partake in the blooming fish business that is now decentralized from the traditional mainstays like Kariba. Security is definitely assured as government has under the sub cluster of National Food and Nutritional Security mentioned fish as a rich source of nutrients.

In the NDS-1 yearly sectoral targets Government has pegged 12 000 metric tonnes for the year 2021, 15 000 Mt for the year 2022, 17 000 Mt for the year 2023, 18 000 Mt for the year 2024 and 20 000mt for the year 2025. Numbers do not lie, and in this case, they reflect a growing investment security and presence of government in the Fish business.
The beauty of all Government policies and potential business opportunities in the Second Republic is that they are all initiated bottom first. The financing system to assure financial inclusion is there in the form of AFC Commercial Bank, the research and development partners are there in the form of our local Universities, business partners are also invites through local private sector.
All that is left is for Zimbabweans themselves to leave their comfort zones and partake in what could be the most profitable nation-building endeavour in the history of this country.