Chiefs send Binga water SOS
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