Masasabi irrigation dam on edge of collapse
Itezhi Tezhi April 12, ZANIS ——–Torrential rains that characterized some parts of Itezhi Tezhi district have worsened the state of the Masasabi resettlement scheme irrigation dam which is about to collapse just few years after it was built.
This came to light yesterday when Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President Davies Mwango toured the irrigation dam which was built by the government at a total cost of KR 135, 000.
The construction of the irrigation dam which started in 2007 was meant to support about 728 farm plots in the Masasabi resettlement scheme but is not yet operational due to in adequate funds to complete it.
Technical Officer Ernest Melele expressed concern that if the dam is not attended to urgently, it would break and flood some area, and lose its purpose.
“There is need for urgent attention to prevent erosion from damaging the spillway because if nothing is done, irrigation scheme will become a white elephant,” Mr Melele said.
He explained to the minister that erosion has caused some damage on the spillway resulting in water to reach the embankment.
“Due to the damage caused to the spillway, water is now coming to the embankment. This is further weakening the embankment and if nothing is done it could collapse,” Mr Melele said.
He further said that erosion due to heavy rains has put the irrigation dam in poor condition
And Mwango said that his office is concerned to learn about the development and will urgently attend to the problem.
The minister said that his department has drafted a policy for resettlement scheme which is aimed at increasing funding to resettlement schemes.
He said that resettlement schemes have been receiving a meager budgetary allocation making it difficult to run the schemes properly.
He said that once the policy is approved by cabinet, the resettlement schemes will be assured of adequate funding to run properly.
Meanwhile Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Greyford Monde has bemoaned the under utilization of the Masasabi resettlement scheme.
He said that it was not good to have a resettlement scheme with 728 plots and yet only 205 are occupied.
Mr Monde has urged the farmers to be productive before government can pump in a lot of money in the resettlement schemes.
Meanwhile some settlers in Masasabi resettlement scheme have appealed to government to issue them with title deeds so that they can safely invest in the land which has been offered to them.
Mrs Erah Michelo, a farmer in the resettlement scheme said that it was very difficult to develop the land that has been offered to them in the resettlement scheme because they have no title deeds and cannot access loans from the banks.
“We settled here in 1990 but we have no title deeds and because of this we cannot access loans from the bank,” said Mrs Michelo.