BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
VILLAGERS in the Gwelutshena area in Nkayi, who had gone for several decades without safe drinking water, heaved a sigh of relief after Hand in Hand Zimbabwe (HHZ) donated a solar-powered borehole.
The villagers under Chief Madliwa have been without safe drinking water since 1950, a situation, which was exposing them to serious water-borne diseases as they were relying on water from a dam that they share with domestic and wild animals.
HHZ, a non-governmental organisation, has since come to the rescue after drilling the borehole.
The borehole is situated at Gwelutshena Development Trust, a centre aimed at empowering young people with various skills like poultry and building.
It will benefit the entire Gwelutshena community including the clinic, schools and several government departments.
“We started staying in Gwelutshena in 1950 and ever since then we were drinking water from Gwelutshena River, but the river dried up due to shortage of rainfall, forcing us to start drinking water from Ncema Dam, which is very far from our homesteads,” Howard Mpofu (75), a villager, said.
Another villager, Ellia Dube (79), said: “We used to fetch water from Ncema Dam which is very far from our homesteads.
“This borehole has saved our lives.”
With water now accessible, the villagers are looking forward to starting income-generating projects like vegetable gardening.
“We expect our lives to change going forward,” Mpofu said.
“We have been failing to start income-generating projects like vegetable gardening due to shortage of water.
“With water now accessible, we are looking forward to kick-starting the vegetable gardening project and developing our lives.”
He said sick people used to carry water when going to the clinic.
Gwelutshena Development Trust chairman Elias Mavule said they would start income-generating projects soon at the centre.
“We are looking forward to starting income-generating projects like poultry and vegetable gardening,” Mavule said.
Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises Development minister Sithembiso Nyoni, who is also the Nkayi North MP, thanked HHZ for drilling the borehole for the community.
Nyoni said the borehole would help develop the Gwelutshena community.
“We hope this borehole will go a long way in assisting the community,” HHZ CEO Felix Tete said.
“We also hope to see change in the next few years to come.”
HHZ is an organisation set up to help poor and marginalised people create better livelihoods for themselves and their families in rural Zimbabwe.