Community members from Mandiashire Village, Ward 3, Chipinge District woke up one morning to realize that Cyclone Idai had robbed them of water, a necessity for human survival. The natural calamity destroyed all boreholes and water sources within the community leaving them without anywhere to fetch water to drink or use.
This was devastating for the community particularly women as the new normal was to fetch water from Save River which was 2,5km away from the village. This meant an increase in unpaid care work for women and a huge impact to their personal hygiene as women need more water for their upkeep. As if that was not enough, the water from the river was not safe for drinking.
Rudo Ngorima, a community member said: “We used to fetch water as far as Save river, left the water to settle and boil it before use as it was the only option available.”
ActionAid Zimbabwe in partnership with Jekesa Pfungwa and Simukai Child Protection provided a haven for people in Mandiashire Village through the Cyclone Idai Response project which rehabilitated one of the destroyed boreholes in their community. This was a response project reaching 13 652 individuals with Water and Sanitation Health (WASH), Disaster Risk Management (DRM), Shelter Provision, Protection and Livelihoods.The response was funded mainly through the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) and the ActionAid International Humanitarian Response Team (IHART), the Alborada Trust and Electric Aid in partnership with ActionAid Ireland.
Part of the WASH component was provision of water maintenance kits to Water Point Committees to ensure that water points are repaired on time. Mandiashire borehole was rehabilitated in August 2019 and a water point committee comprising of six females and three men was formed.
Training to maintain the borehole was also provided for the group to ensure that the community takes good care of the borehole. Following the training of the water point committee, the group mobilized and fenced the borehole area using sticks.
“Our future plan as a group is to construct a water trough and trench so that our cattle can drink water from the borehole,” said Ethel Sithole, vice secretary of the water point committee.
The group established a nutrition garden as a sustainability plan. There are 54 households participating in the garden project with each family owning three beds. Produce from the garden is specifically for sale and the money is saved for future borehole maintenance costs.
They also built a toilet in their nutrition garden using their savings for group members to use when they come for garden activities.
In addition, the group is undertaking Internal Savings and Lending group (ISALs) to complement their borehole sustainability plan. As of date, the group has USD 15 in their savings.
All group members are contributing USD 1 per family for borehole levy and maintenance of the borehole.
Since its rehabilitation, the borehole has been fully functional and is supporting 300 households in Mandiashire Village with clean and safe water.