Content Warning: Rape
For many years, the only water source for Kufa Village in Zimbabwe was 10km away, in mountainous terrain. The women and girls of Kufa were left with the dangerous task of collecting wood and water for their families. These journeys could expose them to rape and robbery.
Lillian is one of these women, living in Kufa. She travelled this journey often to collect water. “We were travelling nearly 10km,” she shared.
This wasn’t the only challenge for the community. The children of Kufa struggled to make the long trip to school.
“It was heart-wrenching to hear the stories of very young ones, aged as little as six years, walking four kilometres over a mountain down through the valley to school every day,” Showers of Blessing Director, Boniface Mpofu, shared.
Water can have a flow on effect for a community. It’s now helping provide an education to the kids of Kufa.
In 2015, GMP relief and development partner Showers of Blessing, drilled and installed a borehole that uses a hand pump. The bore was a much-welcomed development in the area. The new water source meant an end to the long and dangerous walks through the mountains for women like Lillian. The community expressed their appreciation and care for the new water source and created a committee of five women and three men to care for the borehole.
In 2018, the community and the dedicated committee saw a need to develop the water project further. With Showers of Blessing’s help, they upgraded the bore to include a solar powered pump. A solar pump can make water supply more reliable. One benefit is that people don't have to rely on pumping by hand to collect water. Having the water pumped into tanks makes the water accessible to more people, particularly for elderly people and people with disabilities who struggle to use the hand pump.
The development brought water closer to every household. That is impacting more than the domestic lives of people in the community.
“What a day I had when I visited the community to realise that the abundant water Showers of Blessing had provided had attracted the attention of the government to approve and construct a school for the community!” Boniface shared.
The abundance of water means the community have enough to make bricks for a new school called Muvungani.
“The water that we use for the school we are building is used to make bricks and cooking, to build the toilets and the teachers’ houses,” Lillian shared. “We are planning to build blocks from grade one to grade seven.” She says the community aim to have their school ready in 2023.
“We thank you for everything you have done for us in this village, it was so backwards, we didn’t have water.” Lillian said, “They have enabled us to do the development that we couldn’t do because of [lack of] water”.
Boniface also shared his feelings of fulfillment about the project’s development. “The community got a start-up through water provided and are developing and maintaining the facility without much assistance. It's also gratifying to feel that our approach of helping a community to develop, as opposed to developing a community, is bearing fruit.”
The water source is also helping the community develop other projects. Follow on projects like household gardens, new home construction and livestock projects can help boost employment prospects in the community. Kufa has even had a small village shop open.
Lilian says, “They have left us with a bit of good life, and this is now the inheritance of our kids of tomorrow”.
March 22 is World Water Day. The story of Kufa is one example of how your partnership has implemented positive change over many years, providing safe water and sanitation projects through GMP relief and development partner Showers of Blessing Trust in Zimbabwe.
Showers of Blessing Trust's (OSBT) project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).