Mkhululi Ncube, Chronicle Reporter
More than 500 boreholes drilled across the country by the Government under the Presidential Rural Development Scheme will be equipped with solar systems and bush pumps.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) starts the programme to equip the boreholes today. (Thursday).
The water authority has so far drilled 504 boreholes across the country and 51 of these are in Matabeleland North province while Matabeleland South has 47.
In Manicaland, 51 boreholes were drilled while Midlands has 53.
Mashonaland East has 31 boreholes, Mashonaland Central 79, Mashonaland West 87 and Masvingo has 105.
Under the Presidential Rural Development Scheme, Government will drill and equip one borehole in each of the country’s 35 000 villages.
Each village will also be empowered with a nutrition garden with a wide range of fruit trees.
The Government will also drill 9 600 boreholes for schools while each ward will have additional two boreholes for youth horticulture projects.
The Scheme was launched by President Mnangagwa in December 2021 at Sekusile-Makorokoro nutrition garden in Jinjika village, Mangwe District in Matabeleland South province.
The programme is benefiting over 1,8 million households as the Second Republic accelerates efforts to alleviate poverty among rural communities in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1).
The scheme has created employment for women and youths thereby improving livelihoods as outlined. in the Agriculture and Food System Transformation Strategy whose national thrust is to see Zimbabwe achieve a US$8,2 billion agriculture economy by 2025.
Last year, the Government imported 40 high-capacity drilling rigs from India to bolster the drilling of boreholes.
In a statement yesterday, Zinwa, spokesperson, Mrs Marjorie Munyonga said the programme to equip the boreholes is starting today and will cover all the eight rural provinces.
“The Zimbabwe National Water Authority will, beginning tomorrow (today) embark on an exercise to equip 504 boreholes drilled countrywide under the ongoing Presidential Rural Development Programme. Because of the wet spell, drilling of the boreholes has slowed down and focus is now on equipping the drilled boreholes with solar systems while others shall be equipped with bush pumps,” she said.
Mrs Munyonga said the Presidential Rural Development Programme is expected to help unlock opportunities for rural communities in terms of access to clean and safe water, food security, poverty alleviation and employment creation.–@themkhust