Author: Martha Munyoro Katsi

Enhancing food security through solar-powered irrigation in Matabeleland

Introduction The climate in Gwanda is referred to as a local steppe type of weather. During the year there is little rainfall averaging 477mm, with an average annual temperature of 19.9 °C. Such climatic conditions have affected the food security for most smallholder farmers in this area as they rely on agriculture for their livelihoods. Due to lack of water, most farmers were using watering buckets to irrigate their gardens. Typically done by the women in the community, this tiring task involved carrying of the buckets on head tops from down the river to the uplands where the crop...

Read More

Sustainable Energy for Rural Communities

Zimbabwe lies in one of the best solar radiation belts in the world, averaging at 2 100 Kwh/m²/ per year and 3 000 sunshine hours/year(equivalent to 300 days of sunshine per year) but the country has not fully capitalised on this opportunity for socio-economic transformation. Many citizens struggle economically, socially and technologically because they do not have access to energy and the services it enables. However, with funding from the European Union, Practical Action and partners through the SE4RC project are changing this by connecting irrigation schemes, business centres, a school and a clinic to a solar mini grid...

Read More

Harnessing Solar Power to Tackle Energy Poverty in Rural Zimbabwe and Malawi

Mashaba solar plant in Gwanda In most parts of Africa, irrigation agriculture is performed with the use of fossil fuels or labour intensive technologies. In Zimbabwe, in Gwanda district, Matabeleland South province, farmers are using diesel powered combustion engines to drive pumps, whilst in Malawi, in Nsanje and Chikwawa districts, the Southern Region of Malawi farmers are using treadle pumps to irrigate their farms. The use of diesel is very expensive and also pollutes the environment and the air, whilst treadle pumps are laborious and need a lot of energy to operate, the total irrigated area is small due...

Read More

Solar brings joy to Gwanda District

Mabasa solar plant in Gwanda Gwanda District is one of the driest areas in Zimbabwe. The district is in farming natural region 5 of the country and receives very little rainfall. As such the people in Gwanda have always been hit by severe droughts and hunger. The 2015/16 agricultural season was bad for the farmers as most parts of the country received very low rainfall. Things are beginning to change for smallholder farmers who have always struggled to survive in the harsh environment. Despite low rainfall in the areas,villagers  in various wards in Gwanda are now smiling all the...

Read More
Untitled Document