Situated in ward 20 of Chipinge District in Manicaland Province, the Gudyanga irrigation scheme was at the centre of Cyclone Idai, which left a trail of destruction. Established in 1997, the 48-hectare farmer-managed irrigation scheme was a source of income and livelihood for 63 (4 females; 59 males) farmers. The cyclone destroyed their key source of food, nutrition and economic security. It washed away most crops, while some were submerged in water, destroyed canal dams and collapsed boreholes, negatively affecting the irrigation operations of the scheme. The few crops that remained were at the mercy of livestock as the perimeter fence was also destroyed.
The impact of the loss of income was severe. This brief outlines efforts to rebuild affected lives and livelihoods, particularly those of the most vulnerable, enhance technical and business capacities in the affected communities, and upgrade irrigation infrastructure. FAO saw an improved household income realized from chili pepper sales with anticipated increased nutrition in the future. Farmers are now well versed with the crop and timing of operations, as well as business capacities. Local employment has been created for the local community as casual workers.