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Wash © Action contre la Faim Zimbabwe



Boreholes rehabilitations bring safe water

In Zimbabwe, people are worried about water scarcity. The main water sources are below the minimum levels required to provide water for consumption or to produce electricity, which puts the population at risk of waterborne disease (cholera, typhoid). Only 30% of water sources tracked by the Rural Water Information Management System are functional and protected. In urban areas, electricity shortage and lack of chemicals led to a decrease in piped water supply.

Takeeasy Ncube, farmer and community-based facilitator living in Mapfumo, has seen his village face numerous water shortages over the years.

"“l have lived here all my life. I recall four years ago, people died in this village due to typhoid and cholera after drinking dirty water. I even lost close relatives and friends"
Takeeasy Ncube
Mapfumo, Zimbabwe

“My children used to miss school a lot because they would occasionally have diarrhoea. Sometimes, they would miss school, as we would go for days without water. On most days they would attend school in dirty uniforms” says Ncube.


Improving access to safe water


Action contre la Faim (ACF) and its partner Africa Ahead (AA), with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), rehabilitated 54 boreholes in Mwenezi and Chiredzi Districts. The intervention aims to improve access to adequate safe water and reduce the risk of water-borne disease for 20,000 drought and socio-economic crisis affected people in the two districts of Chiredzi Urban and to increase access to sustainable and nutritious food sources and increase incomes to meet basic needs at household level.

Wash © Action contre la Faim Zimbabwe
wash 2 © Action contre la Faim Zimbabwe

Before the intervention, Mapfumo village residents would walk more than four kilometers to collect unsafe water from a stream. During periods of low rainfall, the stream ran dry. The community borehole was down for 4 years, and the community members could not afford to fix it. Their lives changed when the hand pump-equipped borehole was rehabilited.


Supporting vulnerable communities


Thanks to the rehabilitation of the borehole, Ncube says his children are no longer missing school because of diarrhea, and he says his wife no longer walks long distances to find water. “I now collect 80 litres a day for my family and l use a wheelbarrow to transport the water as the distance is now short. My wife and children no longer worry about safe water in the household.”

With an improved supply of safe drinking water, Ncube’s wife has more time to concentrate on caring for their children. “My wife can now do laundry for the kids whenever she wants. She can also water her fruit and vegetable garden and ensure a balanced diet for our children.”

"We experience very little rain and to have a source of water that never runs dry like the stream, is just a miracle."
Mapfumo, Zimbabwe

The children can now attend and concentrate better at school in clean uniforms without worrying about looking for water.

Ncube is now excited about the future for the village and his family. “It has been a blessing to have this borehole in Mapfumo village as this area has been so dry for so many years.”


Action contre la Faim’s 12-month project in Mwenezi and Chiredzi uses an integrated approach with activities including borehole drilling and rehabilitation, setting up community and low input gardens, provision of small livestock and capacity building.

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