2024 News

Water Promotes Peace in Mlove Community

Friday, 22 March 2024

Nebious’ neighbour was angry. His goat was drinking from her fresh bucket of water. Having walked four kilometres in the heat to fetch it, the goat was contaminating it! She picked up a rock and threw it at the goat’s head.   

Nebius lost his goat.    

In Zimbabwe, water scarcity can lead to conflicts within communities. When water is scarce or polluted, or when people have unequal or no access to water, resentment can build. When people and animals face difficulty finding safe water, it can be a matter of life and death.  

Consider Nebius’ goat’s story. Maybe if it could, it would tell you about its long, tiring journey, only to find limited dirty water in a river or dam – how it began sinking in the mud when walking on top of the drying riverbed.  

Nebius’ goat was desperate for water. It did whatever it could to find it.   

Without safe water close to home, collecting enough water for drinking, washing, and bathing can take hours. For Nebius’ neighbour, having the bucket of water contaminated could mean another tiring journey to the river, another heavy bucket to carry home.     

A lack of safe water can spark conflict.  

Boniface Mpofu, Project Director, Showers of Blessing, installs boreholes in rural villages in Zimbabwe. He has often seen how safe water close to home improves relationships and enriches people’s lives. He said, “Our responsibility is to ensure everyone has access to clean water. It is an essential element for both humans and animals, and it is crucial that we provide it without delay.” This is a big step towards peace.   

Nebius was able to relate to his neighbour’s situation. He did not take any action against her for killing the goat. He understood the need for clean water.   

Instead, he expressed relief; Showers of Blessing installed a borehole in their village. An angry encounter like this would now be a thing of the past. Everyone would now have plenty of safe water to access close to their homes.  

“Nebius’ story made us change our original plan,” Boniface explained. They would construct a borehole for the village to have a small reservoir. “For excess water to spill into for the benefit of animals. And for the community to easily pump water for their animals,” Boniface reported.    

Water can spark conflict or promote peace. Nebius is going to enjoy the water from the new borehole. He will also live free from the conflict caused by insufficient water for everyone in the community.  

This article was written to celebrate World Water Day on March 22.

You can learn more about the connection between water and peace on the United Nations website. www.un.org/en/observances/water-day  

Learn more about Showers of Blessing.

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

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