Happy Women, Happy Communities!

By Clayton Mafuratidze and other FCTZ staff, June 2014

Residents of Zanamwe Village in Ward 17 of Makonde District Mashonaland west province of Zimbabwe are now a relived lot. For some years their borehole experienced frequent breakdowns and had to endure long distances averaging five kilometres  to the next safe water point to fetch clean water for domestic use. Alternatively the eighty (80) households would resort to unsafe sources like rivers.

In February 2014, Makonde District Development Fund (DDF) Water Division with support from Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ) repaired Madenhe Borehole. Five new pipes and rods were fitted whilst all loose ends were tightened up. An apron was also constructed by local builders who underwent two days of training by the DDF technicians. ‘The old pipes were eroded by rust and had clearly big holes suggesting that most of the water was being lost when we were pumping’, quipped Jona Bhikausi a member of the water point committee.

"Water! Water! Water! "Women from Zanamwe village excited of the Water from their borehole.

The women in this village are very happy now. “This borehole would frequently break down. Fights and quarrels at the borehole were a norm because it was tiresome to pump water. Buckets would get damaged in some instances. It would need five strong women to fill in a 20Litre bucket of water. This is no longer the case now. Just one stroke of pumping one gets clean water. It’s all smiles amongst the women in the village. We are happy women and a happy community. Women are very smart and presentable.

Esteri Dhaibho is the Secretary of the Water Point Committee. She has a strategy to ensure that the borehole will always function. “The Water Point Committee will mobilize funds to ensure that breakdowns are attended to by the trained Village Pump Minders. Every member of the community who uses or has the potential to use the borehole shall be registered. Every household shall contribute US$1 per month towards the maintenance of the borehole. The Treasurer will keep the funds and record. Obviously we will educate the community on the importance of this using the “Cost Benefit Analysis” Approach that we were taught during the triggering sessions. Only major breakdowns will be reported to the DDF Technicians. We now have their contact details.”