Piped water project for Mutasa villagers

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OVER 7 000 villagers and schoolchildren in Mutasa district will benefit from a $112 000 piped water project sponsored by Coca-Cola Africa Foundation in partnership with Plan International and Global Environment Technology.

BY KENNEDY NYAVAYA

The project, which is also expected to benefit the local clinic, was handed over to Mwoyoweshumba primary and secondary schools on Wednesday.

Water shortages have haunted the community since 2004 when the borehole set up in 1973 broke down, forcing schoolchildren to fetch unprotected water at a stream nearly 2km away from the schools.

In an interview on the side-lines of the handover, the secondary school head Lindah Harahwa said the project would help improve living standards and education in the community.

Mwoyoweshumba secondary school in Mutasa drink fresh water from a tap soon after the handover of the Water and Sanitation project which was sponsored by the Coca Cola Africa Foundation on Wednesday

“Water shortages have for long affected the school’s education system as children would sometimes go to fetch water from faraway streams. This greatly affected their results,” Harahwa said.

“The water from the stream is not safe so it exposed them to diseases like typhoid, bilharzia and at some point cholera.”

She said numbers at the school had dropped severely as students opted to walk to neighbouring schools which were more than 10km away due to the water crisis.

“Students who stay in the community have been transferring because of the shortage, but now things are set to become better as we are going to resume ploughing our one-hectare garden to (raise money to) pay electricity bills,” Harahwa said.

Coca-Cola Company regional manager Honest Marandu said the initiative was part of their aim to “refresh the world” and empower local communities.

“We believe this work is integral to our mission of refreshing the world, inspiring moments of optimism and happiness, creating value and making a difference,” he said.

Mutare Bottling Company managing director Allen Lang said: “Access to clean, safe water and adequate sanitation play an incredibly important role in enabling quality education and, in turn, in developing our communities.

“This is a community that needs assistance (because) they do not have a lot of modern infrastructure so we thought it was an appropriate project.”