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.
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.
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.
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.
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.