Matande Dam

Matande dam was constructed in 1989 to 1990 by DDF (District Development Fund) and made water readily available to Matande community for livestock, domestic use brick molding and vegetable production. During the period from 1990 to 2007 the dam capacity decreased due to siltation.
Through the journey, MDTC funded by LED intervened in 2007 to enhance the capacity of Matande Dam by raising the dam wall by one (1) meter. LED also worked on the earth, raising it by one (1) meter. Having realized the objective of harnessing water, LED moved a step ahead and embarked on a journey that enlarged the garden to 1.5 hectares and provided barbed wire to fence the whole garden.
As if that was not enough, in the first cycle of PAC (Productive Asserts creation) (2012) which was funded by WFP, MDTC assisted Matande to carry out dam scooping and raising the earth wall by 0.5m. In an effort to reduce further siltation of the dam, a number of silt traps were constructed up stream.
In 2013, it was realized that there was a way lot of water downstream, WFP through MDTC funded another PAC phase which targeted harnessing water downstream through the construction of a weir. With a total of 250 workers, the weir dam was constructed from June 2013 to November 2013. Its current water holding capacity is 920m3 which has made water available even closer to the garden. While garden beneficiaries are celebrating the availability of water for gardening purposes, the entire community is celebration a pivotal asset that is proving vital to the entire community since livestock watering is even close and perennial. The community is also benefiting through fishing and using water for domestic purposes.

In 2015 it was realized that the water level in the weir needed to be increased since demand for water had gone up due to the expansion of the garden from 1.5ha to 4.5ha. The garden beneficiaries purchased a water pump to draw water from the weir and again that raised the demand for water. The weir therefore was raised by 0.7m to increase capacity from 920m3 to 1530m3.

Esther Sithole’s success story

Esther Sithole is a member of Matande garden who resides in Matande village. She has a husband and 3 children. The lady has benefitted a lot from the garden through crops sales. She managed to raise income to the tune of $20.00 and joined the income and saving and lending scheme (ISALS). Through the ISAL scheme, she raised income and purchased 2 goats. The goats increased to 8 and she sold 4 goats and remaining with 4. Furthermore she purchased 2 turkeys and the number increased to 30. She sold 10 and paid schools fees for a girl for grade2 and 3. She attributes the success to WFP and MDTC for expending the garden from 1.5ha to 4.5ha and the rehabilitation and construction of the weir. The dam was rehabilitated in 2009 by LED. Abundant water became available throughout the year when a weir was constructed under the 2013 PAC program.

Esther Humani’s success story

Esther Humani is a married woman who resides in Matande village and has 5 children. She used to grow vegetables from a small garden which was fenced with tree branches. The garden was insecure since stray animals could get into the garden at any time and was against the laws of EMA THAT trees should not be destroyed. She benefitted from the garden project by growing and selling different crops since the garden was extended and that water was available throughout the year. In 2014 she purchased 3 hens and after some time, she sold the chicken and raised money for school fees. She was able to feed her family without much problem through barter trade. She was exchanging 5 bundles of vegetable s with one bucket of pearl millet. The lady further sold the pearl millet at $5.00 per bucket to raise income for grocery and other home needs.

Vushe Magwati

Mr. Magwati used to grow crops in a small garden along Runde River but was not sustainable because EMA was always discouraging them to stop cutting down trees. When he joined Matande garden in 2014, she grew a number of vegetables and raised income to the tune of $20.00. He purchased 5 guinea fowls that are now laying eggs. He has 50 chicks


During the 2015 PAC Programme, the project constructed a 54m3 water tank and connected pipes from the weir to the tank. The pumping g system is now in place and a 5Hp pump is used to pump water from the weir to the tank. The 4.5ha garden now has 16 water troughs that are placed 50m apart. The farmers are now drawing water from these water troughs. They are now travelling 20-25 m to get water instead of the 300m they used to travel to get water from the weir.
The construction of the tank and water troughs has reduced the burden of travelling distances to get to the water point hence reduced idle time. They used to take 3hrs to water the vegetables but now they take 1hr giving them more time to do other duties. It is less labor intensive hence promoting good health.
The farmers planted maize on the 0.8ha plot and are getting water from the water troughs. They are again planning to plant rape once the water levels in the weir increases. There will be increased production since the farmers can now plant the entire garden drawing water the water troughs.
Project impact
• Increase income from vegetable sales.
• Reduced idle time since less time is spent watering the garden
• Improved child care by women since they take less time in the garden and have more time with their children.
• Improved health of farmers since it is now less labor intensive at the same time produce a variety of crops throughout the year since water will be available throughout the year.

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Figure 1. 54m3 water tank at slab level and after completion at Matande Garden

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Figure 2. Completed 5m3 water trough at Matande Garden

Matande Garden Success story, November 2015
1. Project Location

  • Province Masvingo
  • District Mwenezi
  • Ward 2
  • Ward Population 5288
    1. Males 2358
    2. Females 2930
    3. # of households 1065
    4. Av household size 5.0
  • Village Rutavo/Matande
  • # of villages that participated 8

2. Project Description/Productive Asset

  • Asset Type Weir
  • Number of weirs 1
  • Water holding capacity of weir 920m3
  • Water usage expectance Perennial

3.Pulses 10kg
4.Asset Beneficiaries

  • Direct Beneficiaries 290 households
  • Female 117
  • Males 173

5. Key Tools Used
Wheelbarrows, Shovels, Picks, Trowels, Mattocks, Spirit Level, cement, GI pipe.