The red soil is permanently moist thanks to the irrigation.
Shared water resources in the Pungwe River
Around 1.2 million people live along the Pungwe River, which flows through Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Cooperation surrounding the shared natural resource constituted by the river is a prerequisite for health as well as for the environment and agriculture. It is also a way of reducing conflict between the two countries. The Pungwe programme (Pungwe Basin Transboundary Integrated Water Resources Management and Development Programme) is a cooperational programme intended to reduce poverty and inequality. The programme aims to alleviate the effects of flooding and drought, improve land and water usage, open possibilities for expansion within agriculture and industry and improve food security. Through the programme, the capacity and systems of institutions and other actors receive a boost. Smaller projects are also being implemented at village level under the programme, for development-oriented investments. The strategy for small and medium-sized dams which has been developed under the programme has been an important basis for investments in dams.
The Pungwe project is being implemented by the regional Mozambiquan institution ARA-Centro (Administracao Regional de Aguas do Centro) and ZINWA-Save (Zimbabwe National Water Authority) with funding from Sida, among others, but also with money from the countries themselves.
Between 2001 and 2007, Sida supported the programme with SEK 30 million. Sida has decided to fund a new phase of the programme with a certain change in focus, between 2007 and 2012, with SEK 117 million.
- Structures and institutions for the cooperation surrounding the river have been established. Based on a major report on possible scenarios for water resources in the area, it would be possible to develop a joint strategy for integrated management under the programme.
- A network of people who measure the water level has been created, and the data is the basis for improved and systematic information on the water level and a warning system for floods and droughts.
- Personnel who work with water resource management in both countries have received training.
- Awareness of the importance of the Pungwe River and its water quality as a vital shared resource has increased among major actors such as politicians, authorities and the public.
- The programme has also led to significantly improved relations between the Mozambiquan and Zimbabwean water authorities at both national and regional levels. Today, they have joint project management and implement joint training.
- Communication and cooperation between the implementing organizations in Mozambique and Zimbabwe have improved, and today the two countries share hydrometeorological data and have joint training. A development strategy for the construction of small and medium-sized dams has been drawn up and potential financiers have been identified for the building of these dams. The dams can be used for irrigation or electricity.
- Representatives for gold washers and other interested parties within gold production and industry meet to discuss and implement improvements in working methods in order to protect the local nature and the water resources.