BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
ZIMBABWEANS living abroad, who hail from Mangwe and Bulilima districts in Matabeleland South province, are contributing resources towards installation and maintenance of piped water systems to help eradicate water challenges in their communities.
Matabeleland South provincial co-ordinator Moment Malandu confirmed the development.
“We are excited about the programmes in Bulilima and to a certain extent, Mangwe district where diasporans have teamed up with communities to develop and maintain piped water schemes, thereby complementing government efforts in the provision of safe drinking water,” he said.
Malandu said such schemes ensured sustainability as communities owned them, hence theft and vandalism were minimised.
Bulilima Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sub-committee chairman Donnie Wodonga said the diasporans contribute resources according to the bill of quantities.
“We discuss with them all the challenges that are there and solutions.
“They make contributions for whatever is needed for the schemes. For instance, if it is a bigger project like Isikhiye piped water scheme in Kungubo, they fundraise money based on the bill of quantities and the costs that we would have given them, then they purchase from South Africa,” he said.
“Diasporans are a community on their own, living in South Africa and abroad, but you find that most of them are in South Africa and being there, they have formed groups and these are mostly based on wards where they address the needs that they have left home.”
Godonga said these schemes assist communities with potable water.
Mangwe district WASH sub-committee chairperson and District Development Fund (DDF) co-ordinator Likhwalethu Ndlovu said the schemes would go a long way in solving water crisis in the areas.
“Our success story is in Tshitshi ward and in Ngwanyana. Seventy-five percent of the people here in Mangwe have relatives in the diaspora and knowing that Matabeleland South province is in region five known for being very dry, Mangwe community members came up with ways of putting money together to maintain and develop piped water systems,” Ndlovu said.
“What they do is when they mobilise more money, they call us as DDF and we do designs for them. The community assists us in terms of labour especially in digging trenches for piping.
“They sometimes buy materials from South Africa and they just purchase small spares in Plumtree.”
He said non-governmental organisations were also assisting in the piped water schemes.
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