Family helps create community oasis


Vengesai Mirira saw their community was badly in need of water. He decided to start a project in Gokwe to curb the water crisis in the area.

The main thrust of the project was to help the community to have all the resources they need for their survival.

In Gokwe Nebudziya – deep in the arid land of sub–Saharan Zimbabwe, water is a rare and special commodity especially in the dry season. People here travel long distances in search of the precious liquid.

One man and woman after years of endless forays in search of water decided to sink a borehole at their home.

It’s not an easy task if you come from this area where money is as rare as the water, but Vengesai Mirira and his wife Juliet Mahofo, managed to use proceeds from their cotton sales and a bit of help from their three sons to sink what has now become a community borehole.

Using their personal resources the family sunk the borehole in 2005, much to the delight of a community of 26 homesteads who now make use of it.

Before it was sunk Grace Maphosa, a mother of five had to travel 8km to the nearest government-sunk waterhole. There they would wait in long queues before her turn to fetch water came.

She now walks only 3km to the Mirira family borehole which is open to all and even sits on a stable water table which is 10 metres deep while the well is 42 metres deep.

“I had to make the sacrifice to sink this borehole because we would spend most of our time trying to get water. You would not even worry if it was safe water or not, sometimes even bathing was a problem because you would want to preserve all the water you have,” said Mirira.

Twenty-six homesteads benefits from the water source.

“There is no money here, so most of the time we can only come to give our labour and Mirira and his family meet the repair bill. We access water here for free. This is the best thing that has happened for us,” said Shawasha as he pumped water into his buckets.

Mahofo says she is proud that the family managed to do something for the community, not only providing safe clean water for no reward, but also they have encouraged three elderly women in the Mabunhu area to start gardening next to the borehole.

The family has set up a committee from the 26 homesteads which benefit from the water source.
The borehole has helped the community to do following activities:

• Watering their gardens
• Bathing
• Cleaning their households
• Drinking water for their animals

“We want to start a community project which will allow us to start a gardening project that will earn us money as a supplement. Zesa wants $8 000 for that to happen. We are prepared to pay that money, but we just can’t do it once off. We need help,” said Mirira, known in his area as “Dumbu”.