Zimbabwe: Showers of Blessing
Showers of Blessing was established by BJ Mpofu and leaders of the Associated Churches of Christ in Zimbabwe in 2007 to provide assistance with food distribution, the drilling and installation of boreholes,wells and the establishing of income generating projects. Its goal is to support people to become self-sustaining in a very challenging economy.
Boniface Mpofu is the project manager. He assesses each request for a well and works with the local community to identify the best location and to establish a committee that will be responsible for the well. Once the hole is drilled, the committee is responsible to dig a soakage pit and concrete around the well. Then the fitting crew come and connect the pipes and the pump. The opening of a well is a day of great rejoicing.
A well makes a huge impact on a village in a dry area. Safe water means diseases like cholera and dysentery almost disappear instantly. Close water means that families save up to 6 hours a day. In one village people had to get to the well at 2am to get a place in the queue to ensure that they got water. More water means that dams and dirty water holes can be dedicated to livestock, rather than people using them as well. More water means that a greater variety of vegetables can be grown, improving nutrition and making children stronger.
Wells have stimulated school gardens, community gardens, an irrigation scheme, and a whole new village with a shop, a grain mill, and its own pub! Boniface says that drilling a well "lights a fire - you get it started but you never know where it will go".
At Mazviwa Paddocks 20 km south of the midlands town of Zvishavane the drilling of a well has reduced the walking distance from 15 km to 500 metres. This has greatly eased the burden on the women and girls whose daily task is fetching water for their families.
Safe, clean and plentiful water makes a huge difference. A cross-section of the community expressed how the project has benefited them in terms of personal hygiene (bathing, cleaning, toilets, laundry etc.) giving them ample time for other productive activities. They also expressed how clean water has reduced the risks of communicable diseases. It has made a significant difference in maternal and child mortality rates as pregnant and feeding mothers do not have to walk such long distances. HIV and AIDS patients are most grateful as they need large amounts of water for washing and maintaining a clean home environment.
There are still many drought-prone villages that need the transformation that a well can bring.
|Watch this video where Boniface Mpofu tells how bore holes are introduced into each community and hear from the people of Hippo Pools how a bore hole has transformed their community.|
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