In the Dora Wards 5 and 35 in Mutare District in Manicaland Province in eastern Zimbabwe there are just nine boreholes in a region with 23 villages and where thousands of residents live without easy access to safe drinking water.
“From these statistics, it is therefore beyond doubt that there is a need for more boreholes in the two wards,” says Rudo Mharapara, a social worker with our longtime partner there Shinga Development Trust.
(Note: a borehole differs from a well in that it is drilled by a machine and is relatively small in diameter, while a well is usually dug by hand and is larger in diameter. The main advantage of a borehole is that it is possible to penetrate the aquifer to a greater depth ensuring a reliable supply of water in times of drought or high usage, according to The Well Drillers Association.)
That’s why Bread and Water for Africa® is working with Shinga to drill 10 new boreholes in the two wards that are projected to serve 3,000 individuals each, ensuring that these 30,000 will no longer have to walk more than 500 meters (about three-tenths of a mile, or about the length of five football fields) to collect all the clean water they need for drinking, cooking, bathing and washing.
Shinga founder and executive director Margaret Makambira is working with area schools where children and youth who live at Shinga’s Lerato Children’s Village attend so that the boreholes will benefit entire student bodies as well as the population in the surrounding communities.
“The whole communities of Dora Wards 5 and 35 have the general challenge of food access, especially considering it is a drought-prone region not favorable for farming throughout the year,” noted Rudo. “This leaves the communities worse off considering the general population has no access to water.”
As a result, “the Dora population collects most of their drinking water from dirty sources like streams, ponds and unprotected wells…and their health standards of living are poor,” she said.
The residents of the area are primarily marginalized people who make their living molding bricks, Rudo told us.
“People lack basic needs like clean water, which is vital for a healthy life.
“In Zimbabwe, rural areas have been given the lowest priority when it comes to water.
“For many years now, Dora community members have been suffering because they have to fetch water very far from their homes. Women and children are the ones who suffer the most from a lack of water in the community.
“They must walk a distance of two kilometers (nearly 1.25 miles) with a 20-liter (5.2 gallons weighing more than 44 pounds) container on their heads.
“Some of the villagers use polluted from the nearby streams to avoid walking long distances which results in them getting sick since most of them do not boil the water to kill the germs.”
At Bread and Water for Africa® we have been working for decades in sub-Saharan African countries including Cameroon, Ethiopia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and now Zimbabwe digging wells, drilling boreholes, protecting springs and more to provide easy, convenient access to hundreds of thousands of children, families and elders to ensure they do not get ill – or worse – from drinking contaminated water – all thanks to our generous and compassionate supporters from across the country.