Chiefs send Binga wa­ter SOS

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Feature/national News - Whins­ley Masara Chron­i­cle Re­porter

BINGA District, a com­mu­nity ly­ing ad­ja­cent to the mighty Zam­bezi River, is fac­ing se­ri­ous wa­ter woes and vil­lagers have to travel for up to 30 kilo­me­tres to get the pre­cious com­mod­ity.

The Min­is­ter of State for Provin­cial Af­fairs in Mata­bele­land North, Cde Cain Math­ema, told The Chron­i­cle that it was re­gret­table for a com­mu­nity that lies ad­ja­cent to mighty river, barely two kilo­me­tres away, to strug­gle to get wa­ter.

“It is sad to see peo­ple walk­ing as far as 30 kilo­me­tres to fetch wa­ter on a daily ba­sis like what is hap­pen­ing in Binga. Vil­lagers are shar­ing con­tam­i­nated wa­ter sources with live­stock which is very un­healthy.

“I call upon the Gov­ern­ment, DDF, coun­cil and non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions to as­sist the com­mu­nity of Binga with the means and fa­cil­i­ties to draw wa­ter from the Zam­bezi,” he said.

Min­is­ter Math­ema said wa­ter was plen­ti­ful in the river but the headache lies in bring­ing it close to the peo­ple.

He said com­mu­ni­ties near the mighty river must have run­ning wa­ter at their homes.

“There is talk of the Gwayi-Shangani wa­ter project, but will it be fair to draw wa­ter to Bu­l­awayo leav­ing out that com­mu­nity which still goes for close to half a day without wa­ter,” he said.

Chief Siansale said there is a se­ri­ous wa­ter short­age in Gwatag­wata Area, Ward 16, and this year’s drought would have dis­as­trous con­se­quences if there’s no im­me­di­ate in­ter­ven­tion. “Vil­lagers wake up at around 3AM to go and fetch wa­ter only to come back at noon which is also very risky con­sid­er­ing there is lots of wildlife in Binga.

“Binga has very few bore­holes through­out the district and we are ap­peal­ing to well-wish­ers to as­sist with piped wa­ter schemes. Saba Ward ben­e­fited through Min­is­ter Math­ema’s ini­tia­tives and we hope more of such projects could come to our com­mu­ni­ties also,” he said.

Chief Pashu said there is a need for more bore­holes, taps and dams to min­imise the risk of live­stock dy­ing in the few weeks to come. “With the com­ing of the dry sea­son, Binga is bound to lose hun­dreds of live­stock like it did last year. The Zam­bezi River has lots of wa­ter but for it to be taken as far as Bu­l­awayo yet lo­cals are thirsty would be im­moral.

“There are very few func­tion­ing bore­holes re­sult­ing in long queues and their wa­ter ta­bles have gone down re­sult­ing in wa­ter com­ing out in drops. For how long do Binga com­mu­ni­ties have to share wa­ter sources with an­i­mals?” said chief Pashu. — @win­nie_­masara

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