By Richard Muponde
THE District Development Fund (DDF) has rolled out a multi-million-dollar programme in conjunction with the Chinese government to drill 500 boreholes in three provinces of Midlands, Masvingo and Matabeleland South, respectively, a Cabinet minister has said.
Addressing delegates at a groundbreaking ceremony of a clinic in Ngwana village in Bulilima district, Plumtree, on Sunday, Industry and Commerce minister Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu said personnel had already arrived in Matabeleland South province for the drilling of the boreholes.
“There’s a programme by government to drill boreholes, working in conjunction with the Chinese. (With) DDF partnering the(m), they are going to drill 500 boreholes in three provinces, and Matabeleland South is one of them,” Ndlovu said.
“As I speak, they are in Matobo district. After that, they are coming here to Bulilima district.”
He said water shortages in Matabeleland South, among other provinces, had impacted negatively on the lives of the people and government was forced to act on that to enhance food security.
“Without water, life will be difficult and diseases will also spread. I have seen women in this district travelling for seven to eight kilometres to fetch water. That should not happen. Government will look into all this and end the problems,” he said.
“President ED (Mnangagwa) has also said small dams will be enlarged and those silted will be desilted. We have a big dam here, Ngwana Dam. It’s also going to be desilted by DDF and people here will engage in irrigation schemes and fish farming.”
DDF has already drilled new boreholes in the Midlands to increase the availability of water in line with government’s Public Sector Investment Programme, which seeks to improve livelihoods.
Government purchased six new borehole drilling rigs and allocated the Midlands province a rig, which was used to drill an initial 17 new boreholes and flushing out 20 existing ones across the province.
The new equipment, which has a capacity to drill two boreholes per day, would also be used to drill boreholes for private clients, with money raised going to central government for use on other developmental projects.