STOP IN­TER­FER­ING IN LUBOMBO - RA TOLD

…Si­moyini res­i­dents at KaPhunga de­mand that SWADE con­structs a dam for them be­fore con­tin­u­ing with a project that will draw wa­ter from their dry­ing stream to Sitho­bela. They also tell Shis­el­weni RA Themba Ma­suku to stop med­dling in Lubombo af­fairs.

Observer on Saturday - - Front Page - Sto­ries by Bodwa Mbingo

Amulti-Mil­lion devel­op­ment project pi­o­neered by the Swazi­land Agri­cul­tural Devel­op­ment En­ter­prise (SWADE) to draw wa­ter from Si­moyini area at KaPhunga all the way to Mamisa un­der Sitho­bela Inkhundla for agri­cul­tural pur­poses has been halted by an­gry res­i­dents of Si­moyini.

They have since told the con­trac­tor, Ste­fanuti Stocks, in front of po­lice of­fi­cers to pack their tools and van­ish from the area as they ar­gue that they were never con­sulted by SWADE when the project was ini­ti­ated last year.

RA

Work has al­ready been halted in the area while of­fi­cials from SWADE with the as­sis­tance of Shis­el­weni Re­gional Ad­min­is­tra­tor (RA) Themba Ma­suku are do­ing all in their power to re­store peace and un­der­stand­ing in the area for the project to re­sume.

The project, KaMamba Portable Wa­ter Sup­ply Scheme, is part of the Lower Usutu Small­holder Ir­ri­ga­tion Project (LUSIP) II that has com­menced earnestly in the Lubombo re­gion. It could not be im­me­di­ately as­cer­tained how much fi­nan­cial dam­age has been felt by SWADE since the halt­ing of the project.

The fum­ing res­i­dents of Si­moyini feel they are be­ing robbed of their nat­u­ral right to wa­ter from a lit­tle stream that runs in their area with its source also in the area. They ar­gue that the wa­ter be­ing drawn from Si­moyini to ben­e­fit an­other com­mu­nity else­where would ren­der them with­out ad­e­quate sup­ply. They feel that un­der the cur­rent cir­cum­stances, they are not guar­an­teed that the wa­ter to be taken to Mamisa will be the sur­plus from the stream while ad­e­quate wa­ter would still re­main for their con­sump­tion. They have fur­ther com­plained that the con­trac­tor has de­cided to in­stall big pipes that will draw more than ad­e­quate wa­ter from their only source of liveli­hood for their agri­cul­ture while they have also de­stroyed their fields and graves while in­stalling the pipes to draw the wa­ter.

This re­mote area is made of about 300 home­steads.

The res­i­dents have openly de­manded that be­fore SWADE re­sumes the project that ap­pears to be about 70 per­cent com­plete to the naked eye, should first con­struct a dam for them within the stream so that wa­ter can be ad­e­quately har­vested be­fore it is then taken to Mamisa.

Is­sues

They have also de­manded that SWADE should also leave their area with clean portable wa­ter by in­stalling taps in each home­stead.

The res­i­dents openly di­rected ex­ple­tives at the Shis­el­weni RA blam­ing him for com­ing from the Shis­el­weni re­gion to im­pose the project on them with­out the nec­ces­sary con­sul­ta­tions as they ac­cused him of sign­ing a doc­u­ment that the project should con­tinue with­out iron­ing out very key is­sues with them. This was dur­ing a wellat­tended and hot worded meet­ing at the area on Thurs­day where the res­i­dents boldly re­it­er­ated their stance be­fore the Shis­el­weni RA that they are not will­ing to budge un­til their de­mands are met. This meet­ing that was punc­tu­ated by Ma­suku con­stantly re­mind­ing the res­i­dents of up­hold­ing ut­most re­spect when mak­ing their sub­mis­sions was also at­tended by mem­bers of the Royal Swazi­land Po­lice Ser­vice (RSPS) from the KaPhunga po­lice sta­tion who en­sured that or­der was main­tained and that the irate res­i­dents be kept in check. Ma­suku would spo­rad­i­cally get hot un­der the col­lar as the sub­mis­sions from the res­i­dents got heated.

Of­fi­cials from SWADE and the con­trac­tor were also present to hear for them­selves what res­i­dents had to say.

One of the res­i­dents, Mhlupheki Mat­se­bula, was first to set the ball rolling by stat­ing that their de­mand has al­ways been that SWADE should first con­struct the dam for them be­fore driv­ing their wa­ter to Mamisa.

Bodwa Mbingo) (Pics:

STOP THIS: This is the wa­ter pipe that is de­scribed as very huge by Si­moyini res­i­dents as they claim it will draw all the wa­ter to Mamisa leav­ing their stream dry.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Swaziland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.