A paper presented by Brian Mathew on 21-23 January 2003, Muldersdrift, South Africa.
This paper presents practical experiences and new research into the provision and use of household water supplies from communal and family owned productive water point (PWP) gardens, in Bikita district,
Zimbabwe. Traditionally the people of the district are subsistence farmers who rely on rain fed agriculture and livestock. Where shallow ground water is available, households have dug wells to supply their domestic requirements, water cattle and other livestock, and to irrigate small family held garden plots. Recognising the importance of productive water, the DFID funded Bikita Integrated Rural Water Supply
and Sanitation Project and promoted PWP (PWP) gardens, as a pilot project to diversify livelihood strategies and move away from valuing water solely for domestic purposes. A high yielding water point is
considered productive when it has the capacity to deliver more water than is needed for the domestic uses of the community it serves. Thirty three communities, who were managing their high yielding water
points effectively and had suitable land available, were offered the opportunity to establish irrigated community gardens. The project also supported a significant number of households to upgrade their family wells, many of which were also used to water vegetable gardens. [authors abstract]