USAID Water Project A Boon For Dry Chiredzi Communities
The USAID Resilience Anchors has provided a clean water point for villagers in Ward 23 in Nyangambe village 2, Chiredzi, who were forced to travel long distances in search of safe water sources.
More than 600 inhabitants of the dry and arid community of Nyangambe valley conservancy were exposed to attacks by wildlife due to the long distances they had to travel to fetch water from open ponds, exposing them to waterborne diseases.
The installation of a solar-powered water point for the community by the USAID Resilience Anchors has been a boon for villagers.
The boreholes were installed as part of efforts to improve access to water for multi-purpose use and reduce human-wildlife conflict.
Svodai Musaingira (46), who came to the area as a bride many years ago, told Southern Eye that they had been prone to wildlife attacks within the conservancy. She said:
Before the start of this project, we had to walk over 5km in the early hours of the morning in search of water.
We would come back with large buckets of water on our heads so we would be able to sustain our families.
We have also been prone to attacks by wildlife within the conservancy as they would come out in their numbers to terrorise us.
But looking at it from another angle they would also be in search of clean water to drink.
We were frequently exposed to cholera because we would get water from dirty ponds, which animals such as dogs also relied on.
We now have access to clean water therefore we no longer have cases of cholera outbreaks.
Another beneficiary of the project, Canias Chikamhi (53) who is the chairperson of the Nyangambe water point said:
The water situation in our community was so bad that it was difficult for someone to access at least 20 litres of water.
We were happy when the Resilience Anchors came in and offered to help out with our situation.
Parents had to walk as long as 5km in search of water. Those distances could only be accessed by those with scotch carts. Children would also misbehave with those scotch carts leading to accidents.
Since we now have access to clean and potable water, we have not yet come across cases of cholera in the present day.
I cannot specifically remember how many years it has been since we experienced cholera, maybe six years back.
Cases of human-wildlife conflict have been on the rise in recent years and this has been attributed to a population increase of both humans and wildlife, the effects of climate change, deforestation, illegal cutting of grass, and general mismanagement of natural resources.
Nyangambe Wildlife conservancy vice chairperson Joram Mutovo told Southern Eye said the water point project has greatly reduced human and wildlife conflict.
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