Makhosi Bhebhe is one of the members who was part of the Nkumbu sand dam (Nsimbi village) construction team. He is a widower aged 50 and lives with his daughter who is aged 20. Bhebhe joined the team constructing the sand dam in 2020 after he came back from South Africa where he had been living and working.
“When I came back home in 2020, my intention was to have a short holiday then go back so SA. When I got home I found people already at work here at Nkumbu. I felt very interested in the construction that was taking place and that was when I decided to join them”, said Makhosi Bhebhe.
Bhebhe extended his gratitude to Dabane for assisting in the building of the dam. He stated that he had decided to go to South Africa because of failure to get a job around the district. The construction of the dam is to him an opportunity to put all the projects he has in mind to trial.
“I had struggled to find a job to sustain myself and my family, so I was pushed to go to South Africa to search for a job”, Makhosi Bhebhe said, “When I saw this development, I was motivated because I knew that I could now implement all the projects I had in mind since most of them required water for them to be a success”, he added.
Bhebhe mentioned that the existence of the dam changed his mind on going back to South Africa. He went on to articulate that he intends to start a chicken project, a nutrition garden, a pig project as well as an orchard. Bhebhe plans on connecting a water pipe from the dam to his 0.5ha garden which is 100m away from his homestead.
Bhebhe said “I acknowledge that chicken and pig projects require a lot of water and an orchard and a nutrition garden would need a lot of water for them to grow well, and this is why I have planned on having a pipe that will run from the dam to my homestead, which is not so far from the dam.”
Bhebhe looks forward to generating income through the projects he want to implement and has started making preparations to carry out these projects. He has bought fencing material asbestos to create a fowl run and a pigsty. He is also making plans to buy seedlings for fruit trees so that he can start up on his orchard.
The drought that was there over the years within Gwanda district was characterised by harsh conditions that saw a lot of livestock dying from hunger and thirst. Bhebhe was amongst those community members that lost their livestock and sold some to cope with the drought.
“Losing a lot of livestock and struggling with coping with the drought was amongst the things that drove me to go and look for a job in South Africa” explained Bhebhe.
Makhosi Bhebhe is optimistic that the availability of water will enable him to revive his homestead with regards to farming, gardening and livestock rearing.

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