Chivi in dire need of water and food aid

The water situation in Chivi North has reached a critical level. People, and their livestock, are having to travel for more than 10km to get drinking water, says the Chivi North legislator, Mathias Tongofa.

He said there were fewer than 200 functional boreholes in his constituency – a number that was simply not adequate for the ever-increasing population. At least 33 villages, long distances apart, share a single borehole.

Tongofa, the deputy minister of youth indigenisation and economic Empowerment, said the constituency needed another 330 boreholes.

Chivi’s two major dams, Muzhi and Denge, were badly silted. To revive them, $50,000 was needed, said Tongofa.

“Chivi’s water problems are perennial and, unless there is donor support, people will continue to suffer,” he said.

Tongofa said he had approached several companies, Mimosa, Murowa Diamonds and Mwana Africa. Although they had promised to help as part of a social responsibility project, nothing had been forthcoming so far.

On top of the water shortage, nearly 40,000 villagers have no food. The situation is particularly acute in Madyangove communal lands. A bucket of maize (about 15kg) costs $15 around the district, a price only a few can afford.

“A lot of young people end up leaving the country for South Africa to escape from the unending food and water shortages, but they return home empty-handed because most are unskilled,” said Tongofa.

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