Piped water for Makoni villagers
16 JUL, 2018
Lovemore Kadzura, Manicaland Correspondent
The dream of having easy access to clean and safe water finally became a reality for villagers in Masvosva communal lands in Makoni district following the completion of a massive piped water project in the area. Although the Government drilled thousands of boreholes for the previously marginalised rural communities soon after independence to ease the burden of water challenges, the intervention fell short of other requirements especially the proximity of the boreholes.
Most villagers continued to fetch drinking water from unprotected sources that include shallow wells, exposing themselves to water-borne diseases.
To make matters worse, if the borehole broke down it took time for it to be fixed and villagers were left with no option but to drink water from streams and shallow wells.
In Masvosva Village, walking long distances is now a thing of the past after a local non-governmental organisation, Christian Care, partnered with the Makoni Rural District Council and the community to implement the life-changing programme.
The project, which was undertaken at a cost of $55 000, was providing piped water to 280 households with a combined population of 2 000 people.
The water is also channelled to Nerwande Primary School, with an enrolment of 900 pupils; Nerwande Rural Health Centre and the local business centre.
When The Herald visited the village on a tour organised by the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing’s public relations department, villagers were elated, describing the impressive project as a game changer in their area.
They said the project would go a long way in addressing the water, sanitation and hygiene challenges they had been grappling with for years.
Mr Tafadzwa Baricholo, a Christian Care projects officer, said the project fell under their Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme with the main objective of ensuring that villagers have access to clean water within a reasonable travelling distance.
He added that the water system will be regularly tested and treated by the Ministry of Health and Child Care so that it remains clean and safe for drinking.
“It took us one and half weeks for us to complete this project. Before this project villagers were travelling long distances to fetch clean borehole water whilst others were resorting to unprotected wells. We pump the water from a 40-metre- deep community borehole and the pumping is made possible by solar energy. The system pumps three cubic metres per hour or 30 000 litres per hour to the storage tanks which are located up- hill.
“From the tanks the water is now pumped straight into 280 households, Nerwande Primary School, Nerwande Rural Health Centre and the local business centre. The households have a combined population of 2 000 people and Nerwande Primary has an enrolment of 900 pupils. From the number of people drinking this water it shows that this project is quite big.
“The piped water has 10,8km coverage and supplies 30 litres of water per person per day. The project cost $55 000 and we made the community to appreciate how much was spent on this by involving them. All the equipment was bought in the presence of a selected committee and they are keeping the receipts and other documents. We did this so that they take ownership of the project, value it and curb vandalism.
“For sustainability purposes the community now have a vibrant constitution and beneficiaries of the piped water pay $1 per household per month. We trained and capacitated two members of the community to operate the whole system and they are now fully employed by the community,” said Mr Baricholo.
Mbuya Choice Maradzika from the village hailed the piped water scheme saying it is dream come true for her village.
She added that the project will help to bridge the gap between rural and urban populace.
“We are so elated that finally we are having water from taps and at our homesteads. We are no longer walking long distances with buckets on our heads. I never thought this would happen in my life time but it has finally happened.
“Water issues usually affect us the women most because it is us who do daily chores that require water such as cooking, washing and gardening, among others, so this is a shot in the arm for women in this village. We are so happy with this project and the donors for remembering us,” said Mbuya Maradzika.
Makoni Rural District Council chief executive Dr Edward Pise said the Masvosva Piped Water Scheme had changed the face of the village and urged the villagers to utilise the water to turn around their economic fortunes.
“The piped water scheme has changed the face of Masvosva village. It is a magnificent project that will propel the village to dizzy heights. The primary purpose of the project is to supply clean water to the villagers but in the long run they can use it for irrigation purposes.
“We wish to have projects of such magnitude the whole district. We will continue working hand-in- glove with our development agencies,” said Dr Pise.