Unicef, parents drill US$6k borehole to avert school closure

Sibonguthando Dube


MBERENGWA –The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) and parents at Chingezi Primary School in Mdumezwe village under Chief Mapiravana, Mberengwa have something to smile about after a solar-powered borehole they drilled at US$6 300 eventually gave water.

The borehole was handed over to the school by the Director of Magoche borehole surveying, drilling and installation Company, Tarisai Shumba, on August 4, 2022.

The school had a crisis with teachers walking 3km to the nearest source of water and pupils drinking untreated water from Mkwalini Dam.

Speaking at the handover ceremony, School Development Committee (SDC) chairperson Rindai Manhungo said the search for underground water was difficult and the life-saving liquid was only found at 75 meters after initial efforts were abandoned at 40 meters.

Unicef gave the school US$2 500 for drilling, but the project was abandoned after failing to reach the water table at 40m. Parents then raised $1 500, and Magoche Drilling agreed to complete the project in instalments. Magoche struck the water table at 75m, and the school is appealing to well-wishers to pay the remaining US$2 300.

“This is a joyous moment because we have lived with the Ministry of Health’s axe above our head. The Ministry wanted to close the school because of the water crisis that could result in water-borne diseases.

We worked hard as a team to raise money to complete the borehole project. We received a donation of US$2 500 from UNICEF, and we drilled to 40m, but the water table could not be reached. We remained stuck at that level for a year. We approached several companies to continue the work on credit, but none accepted the offer. Parents agreed to levy US$5 for each child, and we raised the US $1 500. We approached Magoche Drilling that agreed on payment on instalments, and they went a further 35 meters, hitting the water table at 75m,” said Manungo. 

She thanked Magoche Drilling for accepting instalments.

Chingezi head Abinet Mhike welcomed the development and said the harvested water is even enough for irrigation projects at the school. 

“Teachers were threatening to leave because of the water situation. They walked 3km to the nearest water source, and the children were drinking water directly from a dam. We want to thank the Magoche Drilling Company for allowing us to finish this job on credit,” he said.

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