$1,1bn availed for boreholes Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Anxious Masuka

Elita Chikwati

Senior Reporter

Around 1 800 boreholes will be drilled this year, almost a third at schools, using $1,11 billion from the Government for both horticultural production and primary water supplies with provincial leaders and local communities deciding where the drilling takes place.

This comes as Government is targeting to drill 44 600 additional boreholes countrywide by 2025 to provide water with 35 000 to be drilled in villages and 9 600 at institutions.

This programme will address the twin challenges of water security and food nutrition security for the rural populace as the country moves towards an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

Agriculture, Lands, Fisheries, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Anxious Masuka in his Ministerial statement he presented in Parliament last Tuesday said Treasury had availed funds for massive borehole drilling.

“Treasury has, in 2021, availed $760 million through District Development Fund and ZINWA and another $ 350 million through the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education for borehole drilling, altogether $1.11 billion. This will be sufficient to fund the drilling of around 1800 boreholes countrywide.

“Zimbabwe has approximately 41 754 boreholes in various provinces. These water points provide potable water to rural communities but their functionality is about 55 percent,” he said.

“These will be drilled at a distribution rate of one borehole per village and one at every one of the 9 600 schools. To start off, we will target three boreholes per ward and where there is sufficient yield, piped water schemes powered through solar energy will be developed to serve villages and institutions. We have dubbed this programme the Presidential Rural Horticulture Scheme which is part of the broader Horticultural Recovery and Growth Plan,” he said.

Minister Masuka said Ministers of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution will co-ordinate the borehole site identification efforts with local community leadership.

Villagers will also identify three potential sites that will be subjected to hydro geological surveys for confirmation of potential sites for drilling.

It is these sites, identified by the locals and where scientific confirmation of potential for water has been made, where boreholes will then be drilled, he said.

Minister Masuka said currently, the process of identifying the three sites per ward had just commenced.

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