Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

***The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union.***

Chisema laments land degradation

Chisema laments land degradation


The Herald 5/10/2018

Tawanda Mangoma in Chiredzi

Chiredzi district administrator Mr Lovemore Chisema has lamented rampant land degradation in resettlement areas across the district and attributed it to poor farming methods.

Mr Chisema said land degradation was fuelling siltation of rivers and dams in the district where irrigation was the bedrock of food security.

This comes as the Environmental Management Agency has raised a red flag, saying plans to create a greenbelt in the Lowveld now hang in the balance because of rampant siltation of water sources.

Mr Chisema told The Herald in an interview that there was growing concern over the pace at which the environment was being ravaged.

“We are alarmed at the rate at which farmers are failing to preserve their pieces of land through basic farming practices which used to be religiously employed in the past,’’ he said.

“Back then, Agritex officials would put more emphasis on the need to make terraces on steep slopes, use of drains to minimise erosion and capture excess water but if you undertake a snap survey in most of our resettlement areas here today, farmers are very much reluctant to do all this.’’

Mr Chisema said there was need for urgent intervention to arrest land degradation before the situation spirals out of control.

He cited the threat of siltation to perennially-flowing rivers in the area such as Chiredzi, Runde, Save and Mwenezi due to rampant land degradation.

“A look at big perennially flowing rivers that pass through the district shows they are under serious threat from siltation and their water holding capacity continues to recede gradually raising the need for urgent measures to preserve them for the benefit of future generations,’’ he said.

Mr Chisema said it was incumbent upon communities in the Lowveld to be alive to the dangers of environmental degradation as their survival hinged on availability of water for irrigation to produce food.

“We need the perennially flowing rivers for irrigation purposes and even the much talked about Tugwi-Mukosi Dam can only irrigate the anticipated 25 000 hectares here if we preserve our environment,’’ said Mr Chisema.

He lamented a spike in the number of farmers practising stream-bank cultivation across the district saying ensuring food security will remain a pipe dream in Chiredzi unless measures were put to arrest land degradation.

Chiredzi Rural District Council ward 10 Councillor Hardlife Tiyisa said siltation had choked the once vibrant Chilonga Irrigation Scheme in the district.

He said siltation of Runde River had led to inadequate water supplies to the scheme which used to be the lifeblood of communities in the arid southern Chiredzi.


New Posts: