Andrew Kunambura 12 December 2017
HARARE – Government has set out to drill at least 840 boreholes at a cost
of $4,5 million across the country within the next three months.
Addressing journalists in Harare yesterday, Environment, Water and Climate
minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said the programme was aimed at
improving sanitation and access to better water for Zimbabwean communities
in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) stipulations.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) is spearheading the
Muchinguri-Kashiri said the money had already been released by the
treasury and the programme is already underway in some districts such as
Binga, Chivi and Buhera.
She said four boreholes will be drilled in each of Zimbabwe’s legislative
constituencies, with Members of Parliament being asked to submit four top
priority areas in their respective constituencies to the ministry for
“The programme has started in earnest and is being implemented in the
broad context of the ministry’s 100-day quick-wins programme as guided by
the President Comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa during his maiden Cabinet speech
last Tuesday,” Muchinguri-Kashiri said.
“Last week, Zinwa deployed drilling rigs for the programme to Beitbridge
East constituency and another one is in Binga South constituency at
Manyanda Primary School. Zinwa has deployed more rigs at the weekend, one
to Chivi North and another to Midlands province in Zhombe constituency.
“This programme will continue until we cover the whole country. I want to
implore MPs to urgently submit the four priority borehole sites that will
be drilled during this programme to the ministry for onward submission to
the drilling teams,” she said.
She said the ministry would make use of alternative community leaders in
the case of constituencies that currently do not have sitting MPs.
“This programme is not for individual benefit of MPs. Some MPs might not
be present but the communities are always there, so we will make use of
other community leaders such as chiefs to locate areas of concern,” she
Muchinguri-Kashiri also said the government had undertaken to construct
weirs around the country under the command water harvesting programme, an
extension of government’s special agriculture programme, otherwise known
as command agriculture.
“Weir construction is already underway with cement for construction works
being distributed in constituencies such as Bindura North, Muzvezve,
Buhera South, Mberengwa South and Hwange East. MPs are also encouraged to
work closely with Zinwa district engineers.
“We are also implementing rooftop rain water harvesting programme in rural
and urban areas. These programmes are meant to enhance water harvesting
and make our communities adapt and mitigate against the adverse impacts of
climate variability and climate change. Its success will, no doubt,
enhance food security through community gardens, stock watering and
nutrition,” Muchinguri-Kashiri added.
These new boreholes will be central to increased safe water supply
coverage in Zimbabwe, so an effective drilling sector is intimately linked
to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) by 2030 for clean and safe water supply, especially SDG six which
mandates governments to significantly invest in water and sanitation.
Abundance of untreated surface water, and a limited understanding of the
links between contaminated water and disease, provides few incentives to
invest in boreholes.
In its 2017 report to mark the World Water Day – commemorated annually on
March 22 – UN Water noted that most African countries were still lagging
behind in terms of access to safe drinking water.
Zimbabwe has, for example, suffered embarrassing outbreaks of water borne
diseases such as typhoid and cholera.
Approximately, 50 000 cases of diarrhoea cases were recorded last year in
Zimbabwe, with 30 deaths.