Magwegwe Member of Parliament (MP) Anele Ndebele, has questioned why Matabeleland has the least number of boreholes compared to other parts of the country despite the region being the driest and prone to drought.
According to the statistics released by Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Minister Anxious Masuka Zimbabwe has approximately 41 754 boreholes in various provinces with Manicaland leading with a total of 6 899, followed by Masvingo at 6 130. Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South have 4 870 and 5 572 respectively.
Speaking in Parliament Tuesday Ndebele said it was common sense that Matabeleland should top in the number of boreholes considering poor rainfall usually received in the region.
Ndebele’s remarks come at a time when the government has announced that it is in the process of drilling a total of 44 600 boreholes countrywide (35 000 in villages and 9 600 in institutions).
“My question to the Minister (Masuka) is that Matabeleland has the least number of boreholes and from reading Geography and Agriculture at school, appreciate that Matabeleland is the driest in this country,” he said.
In his response Masuka said the issue would be looked into.
“We will look into this Mr Speaker Sir, with a view to aligning this with the current thrust and that Matabeleland is the driest and from the figures that we provided, we seem to indicate that Matabeleland might have been neglected and how do we scale up and catch up?”
Ndebele was however not convinced.
“Madam Speaker, in conceding that Matabeleland does not start from the same touchline as most of the other provinces, the Minister has invited me to proffer a suggestion on what he can do to ensure that we are better off,” he said.
“I am happy to suggest to him right away that whereas he suggests drilling three boreholes per ward, he could kindly consider in Matabeleland to at least drill four or five per ward. Madam Speaker, patriotism does not necessarily need to be legislated. It is small things like this. Our people expect their Government to show up for them when they are in trouble. In Matabeleland we are in trouble, we are in dire need of water but our drill rigs are stuck in Harare and nothing stops us from thinking they have been deployed to other presumably better provinces. We are also a part of this country, Madam Speaker.”