Lovemore Kadzura Post Correspondent—
THE dream to access to clean and safe water within rural doorsteps has finally become a reality for villagers of Masvosva, in Makoni, following completion of a piped water project connecting 280 households.Though Government drilled thousands of boreholes in marginalised rural communities after independence to ease water challenges, the intervention fell short of other requirements such as proximity and sustainability as some villagers continued fetching the precious liquid from unprotected sources like shallow wells, risking contracting water borne diseases.
Where boreholes become dysfunctional, villagers would be left in limbo as it took ages to have it fixed. In some cases, they would drink water from streams and other shallow sources.
This is now a thing of the past in Masvosva (Makoni West) after a local NGO Christian Care, partnered with the Makoni Rural District Council and the community to implement the life changing piped water project at cost of $55 000.
The Christian Care-funded project is providing piped water to 280 households with a combined population of 2 000 people. The piped water is also connected to Nerwande Primary School which has an enrolment of 900 pupils; Nerwande Rural Health Centre and the local business centre.
When The Manica Post visited the area, villagers were elated describing the impressive project as a game changer in their lives. They said the project will go a long way in addressing water, sanitation and hygiene challenges they have been grappling with for years.
Mr Tafadzwa Baricholo, the Christian Care projects officer, said the project falls under their water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) with the objective to ensure villagers access water within a reasonable distance. “It took us one and half weeks to complete this project. Before this project villagers were travelling long distances to fetch clean borehole water while others were resorting to unprotected wells. We are pumping the water from a 40 meters deep community borehole using solar energy. The system pumps 30 000 litters per hour to storage tanks which are located uphill.
“From the tanks the water is distributed straight into the 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.
“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 spend by involving them in the project. We did this also to ensure 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 selected by the community on how to operate and maintain the whole system. They are now directly employed by the community,” said Mr Baricholo.
Mbuya Choice Maradzika hailed the piped water scheme saying it is dream come true for her. “We are so elated that finally we now have running water on our taps and at our homesteads. We are no longer walking long distances with buckets on our heads. I never thought this will happen in my life time, but it has finally happened unexpectedly.
“Water issues usually affect women most because we are the ones who do daily chores like cooking, washing, gardening among others, so this is a shot in the arm for women in this village,” said Mbuya Maradzika.
Makoni RDC chief executive officer Dr Edward Pise said the Masvosva piped water scheme has changed the face of the village and urged the beneficiaries to utilise the facility to turn around their economic fortunes.
“It 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 want to have projects of such magnitude throughout the district,” said Dr Pise.