Borehole drilling curbing cholera
Following an outbreak of cholera in Manicaland’s Marange district, the Government, through the Presidential Borehole Drilling Scheme, has accelerated the borehole drilling programme in the area to provide safe and clean water for the affected communities, slashing the risk of infection.
So far thousands of boreholes have been drilled under the scheme in both urban and rural areas as solution to the perennial water challenges that Zimbabweans often face. The programme had an initial target of 35 000 rural boreholes, one in every village and all with solar-powered pumps. This has been extended to include urban areas hit by serious water shortages, as well as ensuring that all clinics and schools have water on tap.
In an interview, Dr Paul Tungwarara, special presidential advisor overseeing the borehole drilling programme and working with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) said the new target is to ensure that every Zimbabwean has a borehole within walking distance.
“We responded to the distress calls in Marange and we are drilling boreholes for the communities here so as to ensure that people will not have to deal with medieval diseases like cholera and typhoid. We are also responding to President Mnangagwa’s call of leaving no one and no place behind,” he said.
In rural areas, a total of 35 000 solar-powered boreholes will be drilled under the scheme to provide water for drinking and also irrigation of special nutrition gardens that will feed into the national vision of attaining food security and sovereignty.
On the other hand, urban areas, that have for long been short charged by opposition councils will also have borehole water from their taps, as Government plugs the service delivery gaps that have been created by the inept councils.
The Presidential Borehole Scheme is part of efforts by the Government to provide clean water to the people, particularly at a time the country is still faced with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Under the borehole drilling scheme, Harare and Chitungwiza are expected to get over 200 solar powered boreholes with another 20 being drilled in Marondera.
Other cities like Kwekwe, Bulawayo and Gweru are also witnessing similar schemes.
This is part of the short-term solution to the challenges faced by urbanites as Government works towards the completion of major dam projects like the Gwayi-Shangani Dam and the Kunzvi Dam, which will supply extra water to Bulawayo and Harare.