WATER is a precious, yet finite resource essential for life. In most rural communities access to fresh water supply remains a challenge, especially in the dry regions, where in some cases a single borehole is overstrained to serve over 100 households.
However, to try alleviating the quandary, a $60 000 borehole drilling pilot project by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association in partnership with ActionAid in selected dry areas in Manicaland, recently launched is expected to benefit over 450 household to easily access fresh water.
The unveiling ceremony that was held last Wednesday in Chimanimani at Hotsprings saw one of the 10 drilled boreholes being commissioned.
The other beneficiaries of the 10 boreholes drilled include, Gudyanga Village in Chimanimani (2 boreholes), Ward One in Chipinge (1 borehole),Ward 3 Chipinge (1 borehole),Save Network Trust (1 borehole),Ward 30 Buhera (2 boreholes)and Ward 28 Mangwadza village in Buhera South (2 boreholes).
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Mr Munoangira Muhwahwa of Ward 3 in Chipinge said he was thankful to ZELA and Action Aid for the borehole project to help ease the poor water supply in the dry rural areas.
”We have been suffering from loss of livestock and some of our women have had miscarriages due to the aftermaths of drinking water from Odzi River and Save River, which is now unclean due to the mining activities in Chiadzwa. But now with this borehole project we will be guaranteed of fresh and clean water for domestic use and for our livestock. We can now even carry out irrigation programmes for our gardens using the water from the boreholes,” said Muhwahwa.
He however appealed to the donors to dig more boreholes as many households still had to rely on the one borehole in a village that may have over 100 households.
The village head for Musee in Buhera said it was their first borehole in his area. “This is our first time to use borehole water and we are very thankful to ZELA and ActionAid for giving us two boreholes. We have always used water from Save River even for drinking regardless of its highly polluted state ever since the Chiadzwa diamond mining operations started.”
The director for ActionAid Ronnie Murungu said they had strategically dug the boreholes to accommodate 50 households which are approximately 2250 people.
‘’Overly the 10 boreholes are expected to serve 450 households. But we have been told out of the 10, one borehole was dry. We have heard the outcry from all the villagers where we dug the boreholes and we will look for more resources to dig more boreholes and help ease the poor water supply in rural areas in our dry regions,’’ said Murungu
Murungu added that they would also help communities start livelihood projects such as community gardens for economic empowerment.
‘’We will also continue to lobby Government as our intervention campaign against poor water supply and poor sanitation services in rural areas,’’ he said.