From George Maponga in Masvingo
Recurrent water woes are set to ease in Chivi after Murowa Diamonds drilled more than 20 boreholes in arid parts of the drought-prone district that were blighted by severe shortages of the commodity.
Parts of Chivi have of late been battling severe shortages of potable water and for livestock after traditional sources and some boreholes dried up owing to depletion of the water table.
The move by Murowa to drill a new set of boreholes follows engagement with Chivi Rural District Council where the firm is currently undertaking diamond exploration.
Chivi RDC chair Councillor Godfrey Mukungunugwa lauded the Zvishavane-based diamond miner for moving to ease water problems.
‘’We are very grateful to Murowa Mine for drilling 20 new boreholes across Chivi that will go a long way in easing severe water challenges that are now a perennial problem because of extreme dryness in the district.
“Murowa Mine has been chipping in assisting communities in Chivi of late after we approached them to pour in more resources but it is their move to drill new boreholes that is really a game-changer because both humans and livestock were already grappling with a crippling water shortage in some areas,’’ he said.
Clr Mukungunugwa challenged the gem miner to expand the borehole drilling programme to make sure all areas in Chivi beset by water challenges were rescued.
‘’There is need to further expand this borehole drilling programme and as council we are also drilling boreholes in some areas using internal resources complementing what Murowa has done. We, however, still require more boreholes especially in the northern parts of the district that are extremely dry because of poor rains every year,’’ said Clr Mukungunugwa.
He said besides Murowa and his council, Government through the District Development Fund and development partners had also drilled a number of boreholes to ease biting water shortages across Chivi.
The Chivi RDC chair said his council was pinning hopes of ending perennial potable water challenges in northern Chivi through the anticipated revival of the Chombwe Piped Water Project.
The project will benefit thousands of households, schools and clinics in areas such as Mhandamabwe.
Under the project water will be pumped from Shashe Dam along Shashe River and conveyed to storage tanks for purification before being supplied to end users.
Commissioned in 1973, most of the infrastructure for the Chombwe project such as taps remain intact, save for a set of new pumps required to draw water from the perennially-flowing Shashe.
Murowa Diamond Mine is slowly making footprints in Chivi where the firm is conducting trial mining at selected points to assess the extent of the gem resource before embarking on fully-fledged mining of diamonds.