Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Senior Reporter
A GROUP of Zimbabweans based in South Africa have collectively purchased R3,5 million worth of borehole drilling equipment to address perennial water challenges in Matabeleland.
The 325 members formed Matabeleland Borehole Drilling Project (MBDP) in October 2020 and they are drawn from Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces.
Each of the members will choose a community to donate a borehole to, after they all get boreholes at their homesteads.
The project resonates with the New Dispensation’s philosophy of Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabaninilo/Nyika inovakwa nevene vayo.
Although the group started off with 700 members, some quit along the way fearing that the project was a scam as they could not physically meet with the organisers due to Covid-19 restrictions.
With a minimum contribution of R11 500 from each family, the group registered the project and purchased the rig which has been successfully shipped to Bulawayo.
According to the implementation plan, the project will commence in January 2023 and by the end of next year, all members should have boreholes.
Speaking after the commissioning of the equipment yesterday, MBDP chairperson Mr Leonard Nkala said the journey had been hard, but he was happy that his people had achieved something in the name of developing Matabeleland.
“Our region is normally dry and we got tired of water challenges as we were losing our cattle and goats as a result. In
October 2020 we decided to start the organisation. The group first had 700 members but over time others quit citing various challenges and a majority did not believe we would pull this off,” said Mr Nkala.
“Only 325 were left. We decided that we would continue and encouraged members to pay subscription fees of R500 just to kick-start the whole thing. In 10 months we had raised part of the money which our supplier from Pretoria wanted. Some members lost jobs and others were failing to pay up.”
Mr Nkala said the remaining members kept pushing and sacrificing until everyone had paid up.
“We were also driven by the fact that we often lose out on farming as well due to poor rainfall patterns. Since we are growing older, I mean we cannot continue living in South Africa forever as we eventually have to come back home and work on our future. We are happy to see black people emancipating themselves. Gone are the days of sitting back and claiming that such projects could be pulled off by donors, Whites or Indians, we just proved ourselves and this is definitely not the last project we will do for our region.”
Deputy director in the office of the Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mrs Tsvagai Marovatsanga, who represented the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Cde Judith Ncube, said she was proud to see people rallying behind Government to bring development to Matabeleland.
“We are proud of you as Bulawayo and we commend such a spirit among our people. We all know that water is an important and sensitive issue. As Government we are happy you are complementing the President’s work to mobilise resources and leave no one behind when it comes to communities having access to basics like water,” said Mrs Marovatsanga.
“We are happy about your work and commitment; it took a lot of courage because we knew these projects to only flourish in other races. These 325 boreholes will help us as a people and I know our communities will benefit. I am sure other communities will emulate this project which complements the Gwayi Shangani one, which Government is working on to ensure we have access to water as a region.”
Mr Hlangabeza Moyo the spokesperson for the organisation said there was a draw in November to determine which district would be the first to benefit.
Article Source: The Chronicle