“BOREHOLE NOW A DEATH TRAP IN CHIADZWA”

By Cosmas Sunguro
Zidawu Information Centre 21/08/2018

The community of Chiadzwa village is up in arms with the local diamond company for failing to repair the borehole which they allegedly destroyed. This is their only reliable source of water and their livestock.

It is alleged that Zimbabwe consolidated diamonds company(Zcdc) first fenced the borehole into their mining concession thereby denying the villagers clean water. This was in direct contravention with section 73 of the Zimbabwe constitution which emphasize the Right to clean and safe environment. These can be read together with Water Act of 1998 and Zinwa Act (chapter 20:25) section 5(1)e which espouses the provision of portable water. It was only the intervention of the traditional leaders that they were allowed access to it under watchful eyes of company security guards.

This borehole has been in existence since around 1970s and it has been their reliable source of water. It is alleged the company destroyed the borehole leaving the villagers and workers to use the wire rope to access water. Now the concrete slab is showing huge cracks and there is a wide hole near the water source that pose as a death trap to villagers and workers. Children and goats that seek water are more exposed to it. It remains a time bomb.

A visit to the water source by Zidawu officials revealed a health hazard that is posed by this open pool. To make matters worse, the water which splashes on the cracked concrete slab spills back into the said water source. It won’t be long before water born diseases like typhod and diahorrea affects people. Smartness is now a dream for these desperate villagers. DDF used to repair this borehole before the company fenced it.

One of the requirements of a water source is its Accessibility and Affordability. As it stands, the villagers are losers on that regard. A contact with one of the traditional leaders mr Chiadzwa expressed concern about the state of the borehole and was seriously considering banning the use of the borehole as a contingency measure. He said ” it was better than risk the lives of people and livestock “. However, villagers were adamant that closure is no solution as their nearest alternative source was a borehole at Chiadzwa primary school. This is almost 2 kilometres from their residents and to compound misery to their water woes, the borehole is in the mining concession as well. This poses a security concern as it is a security zone.

Mr Kaponda , who is one of the villagers expressed displeasure and utter disgust at the lackadaisical approach being exhibited by Zcdc. ” Handione company ine hanya nazvo ini” (company does not care), he said resignedly.

As a follow up to that issue, Zidawu had a briefing with the returning councillor Mr Chibuwe who expressed hope that the Zcdc officials had promised to attend to the problem. Efforts to contact the said officials were futile as his phone remained unanswered.

In Chinua Achebe’s words ” no longer at ease”, indeed the community is no longer at ease with their challenge. And their patience continue to evaporate in the air as each day passes.