Cotton farmers embark on community development programmes

COMMUNITY driven programmes are transforming lives in the Chigonono area of Chiredzi North, confirming that ordinary people have a role to play in the national development agenda.

Driven by the zeal to alleviate water challenges in their community, smallholder cotton farmers in Chigonono have established a cooperative which is spearheading the sinking of boreholes among other projects.

“We were going through a rough patch. We used to use water sparingly. I used to bathwater which my husband would have left behind after bathing. We are happy with this development.

“I lost of livestock due to water shortages in this area. I use to walk from my homestead in village 2 to Mukazi river, or Mkwasine River. Now that we have water close by my livestock will survive. I also lost an uncle who drowned in a disused well. So this is what pushed me to join the cotton farmers.”

The community development initiative has also become a shining beacon on improving the well-being of marginalised communities across the country.

“As the Women’s League, we are also giving women grinding mills around the district so that they can get some profit and be able to feed their families. Young women should also be taught to venture into income-generating projects so that they can fend for their families when they grow up,” said Senator Ottilia Maluleke.

After commissioning some of the projects this Sunday, Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Ezra Chadzamira confirmed that the government is working on settling outstanding dues for cotton farmers.

“Some people are always asking for help from the government but I’m proud of you the people in Ward 24. I heard that despite the challenges you are facing as cotton farmers you are still managing to organise yourselves and raise funds for the sinking of boreholes for your communities as well as building schools for yourselves,” said Minister Chadzamira.

As part of efforts to improve the lives of the rural populace, the government has put in place several initiatives which include the devolution programme which empowers communities to charge of development in their areas. – ZBC

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