Clayton Mafuratidze and other FCTZ staff, July 2014
Mupoto Village 1 residents in ward 17 of Makonde District, Mashonaland West Province of Zimbabwe have a reason to smile now. At least one of their many challenges they faced is resolved. Thanks to the Rural WASH Project. Their nearest source of safe water, Mupoto 1 borehole had frequent breakdowns forcing the thirty households (31 Males, 39 Females and 61 children) to walk some five kilometres to a nearby borehole to fetch safe water. This had gone for many years. “At the next nearest borehole there were rules to be followed and one of them was that, Village 2 residents had to be served first. This was frustrating especially to the women some with babies on their backs” says the Village Head Mr. Dzawanda Mupoto (49)
In February 2014, Farm Community Trust of Zimbabwe (FCTZ) together with the District Development Fund Water Division mobilised the village to form a Water Point Committee (WPC). The WPC has seven members, five females and two males. The WPC together with other WPC from the ward were trained on many issues. The Secretary of the WPC Gladys Aimade (35) says, “We were trained on many issues but it is that of maintaining and ensuring that we manage our own borehole that is most important to us. It is us who suffer when the borehole breaks down so we have put measures to monitor proper use of the borehole. For example children should be observed when pumping water. We are also fundraising. Each household will contribute $1 per month and the money will be kept by the Treasurer. This fund is for borehole maintenance. There is a duty roster for cleaning the surroundings of the borehole.”
"Two Strokes and clean water". Mupoto Villagers enjoy water now.
After the training the DDF technicians repaired the borehole. They fitted the borehole with new three pipes and tightened all the loose ends of the boreholes, i.e. the bolts and nuts. DDF trained local builders in constructing the apron. The community played their part. Through the WPC, the villagers were mobilised to bring river sand and quarry stones for the apron construction. FCTZ provided 5 bags of cement and paid the 3 builders $10 for the job. The Community has fenced the borehole using wooden poles so that animals do not come inside.
“We are very happy and happiness brings with it peace of mind. After two strokes of pumping, you get water. It is easy especially for us women. The water itself is very clean and we were told that when it was tested it was certified clean and good for drinking. It does not change colour like some of the boreholes in this community” says Angeline Gavaza (30) the WPC treasurer.
Mr Temba Maponga a trained builder who is constructing aprons for the repaired boreholes in the ward says, “The borehole environment is clean, it is not muddy. We built a soak away. Our future plans are to build drinking troughs for our animals and washing basins. In August most of the rivers would be dry and our animals struggle to find water. We are also excited that we are seeing Government officials visiting us. It means that we the villagers share the same vision now with our government, that is, ‘A good and better life for all’. Thus this ZIMASSET programme will surely succeed if they continue coming to us at the village”. This was in apparent reference to monitoring visits done by Makonde District Water and Sanitation-Sub Committee (DWSSC).