GWERU: Farmers in Maboleni area of Gweru have expressed concern over illegal gold miners who have encroached into Mambanjeni Irrigation Scheme, disrupting farming activities.
Farmers in the area say their hope towards productivity at the under-refurbishment irrigation scheme is fast fading because of the emerging illegal mining activities.
CommuTalk got in touch with Gweru Assistant District Development Coordinator Tarisai Mudadigwa who said they are set to engage relevant stakeholders and address the issue.
“We will engage various stakeholders and come up with a plan to make this irrigation function,” Mudadigwa said.
At its peak, Mambanjeni Irrigation Scheme benefits more than 165 famers.
Vungu legislator Omega Sibanda also weighed in and said security measures are being put in place to protect the irrigation scheme.
“I am aware of the situation and we have raised alert on how illegal mining activities have become a threat to the scheme before. We are trying by all means however to make sure that the scheme is protected and also to put in place solid security,” Sibanda said.
Mambanjeni irrigation Scheme in Vungu is part of government listed projects set for full refurbishment under their efforts to boost food security and counter the effects of climate change.
Vungu constituency has eight irrigation schemes which in the past were the major source of horticulture products supplying Gweru and Kwekwe, thereby uplifting livelihoods in the Maboleni area.
Meanwhile, illegal mining activities in the Province have been criticised over rampant environmental damages.