UK–based Zimbo boosts Chivi villagers’ fight against Covid 19

BY Benjamin Takavarasha

Chivi is one of Zimbabwe’s driest districts located in Climatic Region 5.

This dry climate suppresses economic activities in the agro-based country and any mention of water harvesting projects like boreholes is like manna from heaven.

Lettie Chimbi, a Zimbabwean based in Wales in the UK recently brought smiles to the faces of villagers from Hapazari in Chivi North. She installed a second borehole to the village, courtesy of funding from the Government of Wales.

The borehole is not just for irrigation but to equip villagers with the means to fight the spread of Covid-19. This means being able to wash hands more regularly and to observe social distancing through more water points and washing stations.

The borehole also came with a Covid ‘kit’ as the villagers were supplied with more than 500 face masks.
Chimbi installed the borehole through her charity organisation called Chomuzangari Women’s Coop which in turn gets its funding from the Welsh Government.

The villagers use the water from the boreholes to irrigate vegetables both for their own consumption and for sale.

The first borehole was sunk in 2017 and Chimbi has since seen to it that the gardens are fenced because of marauding baboons and monkeys that became attracted by the green crop from places afar.

Chimbi who hails from Chivi embarked on the project to empower women from her village in 2013. She had a yearning to free the women from the drudgery of fetching water and carrying buckets on their heads. The commodity is scarce in Chivi and the availability of water on their doorsteps has released the women’s energy to undertake work in more creative and productive areas.

Chomuzangari Women’s Coop was registered as a Charity in the UK in 2016.

The Welsh Government sponsored the second borehole under its Wales and Africa immediate COVID-19 Response scheme ‘to alleviate the impact of the virus on Communities in Africa’.

Going by the old adage; prevention is better than cure, it is only reasonable to assume that many lives have been and will be saved by the project.

There was joy in the village when the second borehole came; there was singing and dancing and ululations.
Hapazari Village head, Julius Kwanisai Dube expressed his appreciation and gratitude to Chimbi and the Welsh Centre for International Affairs for their selfless service and sacrifice in enhancing the livelihood of his community.

Edmund Macheka the link person to Chimbi was happy with the milestone. There are many lessons to be drawn from the project by other donors and communities that benefit from donors.

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