Original Research

Household survival and resilience to food insecurity through the drip irrigation scheme in dry rural areas

Faith R. Chidavaenzi, Adrino Mazenda, Ntobeko Ndlovu
Jàmbá: Journal of Disaster Risk Studies | Vol 13, No 1 | a985 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jamba.v13i1.985 | © 2021 Adrino Mazenda, Faith Ruvimbo Chidavaenzi, Ntobeko Ndlovu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 May 2020 | Published: 25 March 2021

About the author(s)

Faith R. Chidavaenzi, Institute of Development Studies, Faculty of Commerce, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Adrino Mazenda, School of Public Management and Administration, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Ntobeko Ndlovu, Institute of Development Studies, Faculty of Commerce, National University of Science and Technology, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe


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Abstract

Increasing food production by developing small-scale irrigation schemes is a requirement for tackling household food insecurity. Strategies, such as the World Vision, Enhancing Nutrition, Stepping Up Resilience and Enterprise, have been established to enhance food availability in the drought-prone Burirano Ward 4, Chipinge, Zimbabwe, through the drip irrigation intervention. This study analysed the extent to which the drip intervention has increased food production, abilities, income and nutrition of households. Consequently, the key factors impacting the performance of the drip irrigation scheme were assessed. The study utilised a mixed-method convergent parallel design, drawing from semi-structured questionnaires administered on a census of 40 household beneficiaries as well as a focus group discussion of five key informants directly linked to the Chidzadza irrigation scheme, Burirano Ward 4, Chipinge, Zimbabwe. The findings show that the drip irrigation scheme significantly increased households’ food production abilities, nutrition and income. The main factors responsible for the success of the drip irrigation scheme are cheap labour from household members and agriculture extension support. Issues that prevent the success of the scheme include erratic rain supplies and damaged water pipes. Strategies to increase household food production through the drip irrigation scheme include maintenance of water pipes, an increase in water catchment areas and water availability through solar-powered borehole systems.

Keywords

drip irrigation; food security; household resilience; Chidzadza irrigation scheme; Zimbabwe

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