Mkhululi Ncube , Chronicle Reporter
VILLAGERS from three wards in Bulilima District, Matabeleland South Province have raised US$14 500 to rehabilitate a strategic dam which burst its wall in 2005.
Nunu Dam, located in the grazing areas, supplied water for livestock. After it burst its wall, villagers have had a torrid time supplying water to their livestock.
Chairperson for Nunu Dam Project, Mr Dozen Simawaya Moyo who is based in South Africa said the total project cost was US$17 000 and they are now raising US$2 500 to pay off the contractor who has since finished the rehabilitation process.
“The dam burst its wall in 2015 and being a critical dam due to the number of villages it serves, it was difficult for our farmers to provide water for their livestock.
It is located in an area which is designated for grazing and our livestock survived on it for water. The other dams in the area dry up early and it has been a huge challenge for us.
A number of people lost their cattle over the years as our livestock was now forced to walk long distances looking for water,” said Mr Moyo. The situation was worse during drought years.
Mr Moyo said they came up with the idea of rehabilitating the dam in early 2021 in South Africa and by April of that year, they had briefed the traditional leadership in Bulilima who gladly supported the idea.
He said people both at home and in other countries, the majority of them based in South Africa started contributing money. People were contributing any amount.
Mr Moyo said rehabilitation work started in November after they struck a deal with a contractor on payment plans.
“We are now trying to raise the last batch of payment which is US$2 500. Our main challenge was that we were raising the money in rand but our contractor wanted it in United States dollars hence converting it was a challenge but we managed.
So far, we have paid US$14 500 and we are short with US$2 500.The dam has already started holding water even though it has not filled up.
We also have to raise more money to buy the fence for the dam wall and we are not yet sure how much it will cost,” he said.He appealed to well-wishers to help them finish off the community-initiated project.
Ward one councilor, Cllr Melusi Nkomo said the initiative was noble and shows that communities can partner Government in developing their areas.
“This project is big because it covers three wards which is ward one, two and three in Bulilima District. The villagers worked very hard as there was a lot of work to do since the dam had been idle for years.
It would be good for the Government to reward such communities who initiate development projects by contributing something to support their efforts.
We are now struggling to raise money for the fence and the Government could say ‘because you have done so well, we will finish off the project for you,’” said Cllr Nkomo.
Chief Kandana said the move was a demonstration that when communities come together, they can overcome any challenges they face.
“I am very happy with what has transpired because livestock is our economy this side and water is crucial for us.
Our communities have come together and also built clinics and schools which shows that we do not wait on the Government to do everything for us.
The Government and its departments must come and support what the people do,” said Chief Kandana. –@themkhust