A Tearfund local partner in Zimbabwe is helping people access clean water after a severe drought dried up wells and reservoirs.
Over the past year, Zimbabwe has experienced its lowest rainfall since 1981. The ongoing climate crisis has meant less rainfall year by year in this typically dry part of the country. Some communities haven’t had clean tap water for more than six months.
Many people have been feeling desperate and are at risk of waterborne diseases, like typhoid and cholera. Some have been forced to spend nights sleeping in queues for city council water trucks, waiting to fill up their jerry cans and buckets.
‘The taps are dry’
Jenitah is a 68-year-old widow who lives in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city with her son, his wife and three children. She has seen first-hand how the water situation in the city has deteriorated.
‘My son, the taps are dry and we only have one borehole [a deep hole in the ground where water is extracted] with a hand pump to service this whole area, causing long queues,’
Jenitah told us. ‘It forces us to walk long distances just to fetch water in some other parts of the city.’
Our partner, Zimbabwe Orphans Through Extended Hands (ZOE), reached out to Jenitah and her community. They drilled new boreholes, and put in motorised pumps, storage tanks, solar lights and taps. This was repeated in five other parts of the city to help ease the water crisis.
Tearfund was able to support ZOE after receiving money from the Start Fund, which provides financial grants when vulnerable communities face crises.
‘I am really grateful for the new borehole as we can now use the toilet again,’ says Jenitah. ‘The water situation had become a real headache as it was very erratic. As a result we had resorted to use the bush to relieve ourselves, and we were living in fear of diarrhoea and cholera outbreak.
‘Now that the water is near us and easy to access I can rest. As a community we are truly grateful because all our headaches are gone. May God bless those that brought the water near to our homes.’
Jenitah shared a prayer request with us: ‘I really want you to pray for good rains so that our dams can be full again and that we are able to plant our fields and have enough food.’
Please lift up in prayer Jenitah and others like her, asking God for ‘good rains’ and a good harvest season.