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    Saturday, 7 May 2016

    Blind man runs 2 hectare tomato project


    Lazarus Chinhara, a visually disabled Chivhu man could not bear seeing his children failing to go to school because of financial problems.
    He decided to start a money generating project so that he can pay school fees for his three children.
    Now he is running a two-hectare tomato farming project in Mupatsi under Chief Neshangwe's area, through the assistance of some fellow church members.  The project known as the Make Sure Cooperative started in February 2016.
    "Disability does not necessarily mean inability. I was not born blind. I have much confidence that I can fend for my family, especially for my kids to get quality education," said Chinhara, who is the National Secretary for people living with disabilities.
    Chinhara (39) and his four friends, Joseph Chirodzero, Philip Matigonda, Forbes Mungazi and Amon Phiri, are utilising water from Mutorahuku and Nyamatsanga Rivers. They use buckets to water the garden.
    Chinhara said it is a challenge to use buckets for irrigation.
    "Using buckets for such a big project is time consuming and laborious. I can fetch water from the river with a bucket but I will give someone to water the tomatoes. It would have been easier if we had irrigation equipment," he said.
    Chinhara can do some of the jobs in the garden, such as weeding. He said since the tomatoes are at the ripening stage, he is now looking for the market to sell his produce.
    He also told The Mirror that as the national secretary for people living with disabilities, he has to be exemplary and encourage others that even with a disability, one has to be self-reliant.
    His friends described him as a determined and industrious person.
    "Chinhara has much commitment to the project. He does as much as he can, regardless of his disability," said Matigonda.
    The five men said although they have managed to utilise the available resources to implement the project, they are facing some challenges to make it a sustainable one.
    Chirodzero said, "We don't have enough capital to purchase the necessary resources.We need to set up an irrigation system. Also, we need a barbed  wire fence for our garden and do away with the tree branches so that we don't keep on cutting down trees, lest we are charged by EMA."local news

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