2023 News

Safe Water Provides Fruit for the Future

Wednesday, 6 September 2023

GMP Relief and Development partner Showers of Blessing is known for providing safe water to communities in Zimbabwe. Having installed a borehole at Palawani School, they are now collaborating with the local school in a tree planting project. 

Palawani School has 226 students and 24 acres of available land. The tree planting project will help to conserve local fruits and give the school a new source of income. It also allows students to learn planting and harvesting and involve them in environmental and climate change interventions. Thanks to a borehole, the school had enough water available for the tree planting program to begin.

Boniface Mpofu, Showers of Blessing Director, shares that there is also a cultural significance of teaching children how to conserve indigenous fruits. "So it is not lost," he said. One of the students, Welcome, helped plant some of the first trees at the school. He said the tree project had already given him the opportunity to leave a green footprint at school. He hopes to “show off” his tree to his future children one day.

In November 2022, students planted 70 indigenous trees, including pines, mangoes, oranges and guava. Children like Dorcas, who helped plant the seedlings, are excited about the fruits that their younger siblings might one day enjoy. She said, “The trees planted will provide fruit which my sister will be privileged to enjoy”.

Christopher Hove, Palawani School Headmaster, says fruit planting will ensure the school's future sustainability; offering a business opportunity through selling fruits within their community. He said it will also "assist kids who are financially challenged and subsidise school fees”.

The tree-planting project encourages parent participation. Boniface shared that some parents can’t afford school fees. However, they may be able to contribute to school fees by working in the school garden. Boniface explained, "Parents could be involved in planting seedlings or clearing garden areas”. This way the school can subsidise fees for those who contribute their time.

Providing safe water to a community has a variety of long-term benefits. Waterborne diseases drop, schools open, and countless new community projects are enabled! Showers of Blessing now want to help initiate these community projects where possible. 

Boniface is optimistic about the tree planting project's potential. He is already discussing plans for students to participate further. He hopes, together, they’ll be able to create a nursery, and establish student drama groups relating to the environment, climate change, and mitigation. This will help students educate others in their community.

Students like Andrew believe that these newly planted trees will transform their school. He compared trees to clothes saying, “They give cover and dignity to a place”. The newly planted trees will make his school a place to be proud of. 

This tree planting project would not have been possible without the borehole drilled at the school. When you take the Safe Water September challenge you help fund not only projects giving water, but the life-changing projects that become possible once a community has access to safe water. 

It’s not too late to join the challenge. You can also donate during September and learn more online at www.safewaterseptember.org.au

Showers of Blessing Trust's (OSBT) project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

Relief & Development Safe Water

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