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China Aid installs 200 boreholes in Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
06 Dec 2020 at 07:50hrs | Views
MANICALAND Province's perennial  water challenges are set to ease following the commissioning of 200 boreholes under a programme to enable rural communities access clean water.

The programme, which is being undertaken by China Aid in association with the Government of Zimbabwe, is part of a raft of agreements signed when President Mnangagwa visited China and met his counterpart President Xi Jinping in 2018.

Speaking after the commissioning of the boreholes recently, Manicaland Provincial Water and Sanitation Subcommittee Chairman, Robert Chawatama, said communities are benefiting immensely from this project.

"As I am talking now they have just completed Phase 2, which had a total of 200 water points in the form of boreholes.

"In terms of districts, the following numbers have been achieved: Buhera had 33, Chimanimani 45, Chipinge 27, Makoni 17, Mutare 16, Mutasa 28 and Nyanga 24.

"We now have a total of 5 767 in the province. China Aid has provided these 200 in this second phase while another 145 was provided in the previous phase. This is a commendable development and we appreciate our partners because they do a complete job in a short space of time."

He said boreholes are a climate-proofing strategy, providing a long term solution to water problems.

"We have had people relying on shallow wells at household level. Due to climate change the water table has been receding, so some of the wells dry up, particularly in hot periods of the year.

"Boreholes are beneficial in that even if the family wells dry up, people can still access clean water within a walking distance. To us, this is part of adapting to climate change."

Each water point is expected to provide service to 50 households.

Mr Chawatama explained: "The last assessment that we did indicated that given the current settlement pattern and populations we will require an additional 8 000 boreholes for the province.

"That is the gap that we are trying to close to meet World Health Organisation standards in terms of walking distances and availability of potable water among our rural communities."

Under the China Aid programme, each of the country's provinces is set to receive an average of 300 boreholes by 2021.

The project is being implemented in partnership with China Jiangxi International Cooperation (CJIC) which is also involved in construction of Marovanyati Dam in the same province.

Mr Duan Chuanxiu, project manager at CJIC, said: "When we move around we see villagers fetching water from rivers, often sharing with animals.

"Animals will be drinking upstream and people drinking water downstream. Some people travel for up to 20 kilometres, using scotch carts and donkeys. Adults spend a lot of time looking for water. If they can get water readily, they can spend time doing other jobs like farming."

Source - sundaymail