Ward 1 villagers in Emkhonyeni, Tsholotsho, have appealed to non-governmental organizations to assist them to drill boreholes in their area to alleviate water woes faced by villagers. The villagers walk between 4-10 kilometers to access water in rivers which they share with wild animals.
This comes at a time when the statistics released by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement revealed that both Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South have the least number of boreholes compared to other parts of the country. According to the statistics, Matabeleland North has 4 870 boreholes while Matabeleland South has 5 572 boreholes.
Speaking to CITE, one villager Smomo Sibanda said some wild animals have humans compete for the few available water sources.
“We don’t have a borehole in our ward, we rely on rivers and streams which we share with wild animals, some of these animals kill each other in those water bodies while others even urinate in those rivers,” said Sibanda.
“We walk 10 kilometres looking for water sources, our area is dry, as it is there was a good rainy season but the soil does not withhold water for long.” She said as a community working with Campfire, they tried digging trenches to put pipes to draw water from Elangeni (another ward) but it was not completed due to funds. “We are appealing to donors to assist us to drill at least one borehole in our area so that we can have access to water.”
Sibanda ,however, lamented that most of the water sources are salty due to the type of soil found in the area.
“The water in this area is very salty, but it is better to have salty water than no water sources at all as we can use it for other household chores. The water is very salty to the extent that you cannot keep your food overnight, it will just go bad,” she said.
Chief Siphoso of Tsholotsho also added that women walk long distances to access water adding that most of the pipes are eroded by the acid underground.
“This area has water challenges; women walk long distances to get water. Water in this area is very salty as you can see that this area is populated with morphine trees. Even if they drill boreholes, the pipes are eroded by too much acid underground,” he said.
“As a community, we drilled a borehole in an area we think is less salty. We managed to put pipes in that area we have drilled. Our aim is to put pipes from Elangeni to Emkhonyeni and then to another area also so that people can be alleviated.”
Chief Siphoso added that the government has not yet assisted the community with borehole drilling.
“We are appealing for donations; we have already started on the project,” he said.
Meanwhile, 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).
Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology