A solar-powered community borehole funded by diasporans was commissioned in Luveve, Bulawayo on Friday and is expected to see a green belt sprouting in the area.
Located opposite a terminus next to Masina Beer Hall, the borehole was drilled following last year’s outbreak of typhoid and dysentery in the suburb that resulted in the death of 13 people and hundreds being infected.
The borehole set up in November last year through fundraising efforts of United States-based Mr. Innocent Hadebe, who grew up in Luveve. The borehole has already suffered thefts of solar panels that were, however, replaced and an alarm system placed to prevent more thefts.
Speaking from his base in the United States, Mr. Hadebe said he was pleased to see the borehole commissioned and was hoping it will make a big impact on the lives of residents.
He said after raising the funds he made consultations with the Member of Parliament of the area and residents’ representatives who told him residents felt a borehole and a nutritional garden would be ideal.
“When I read the news about the outbreak, I was concerned and decided to raise funds but I was not aware how the funds will assist. It was only later after consultations that we decided to put the borehole.
“Residents want to create gardens to farm and also have a secure water source,” said Mr. Hadebe.
Speaking at the commissioning, Luveve MP, Hon Stella Ndlovu said a green belt will sprout around the borehole after securing the land from the Bulawayo City Council.
“We are grateful to our son in the diaspora, Innocent Hadebe, who led the campaign as we will now be able to do a lot of farming that will see our food secure while we can also sell the excess.
“The availability is very critical and people will be able to fetch water from the borehole,” she said.
Hon Ndlovu said two boreholes were drilled close to each other but supply one tank although there are two taps.
Mr Hadebe however, expressed dismay at the theft of the solar panels urging the community to safeguard and protect the investment.
Solar Home, the company that installed the solar system, also installed an alarm system that has deterred thieves on one occasion and will be relied upon to ensure the security of the panels.
Hon Ndlovu said they had set up a committee to assist ensure the system is not vandalized.
Hadebe’s parents, Mr. Jericho and Mrs. Beauty Mafu also attended the launch along with Ward 15 Councillor Febbie Msipa, Ward 10 Councillor Sinikiwe Mutanda, who was representing the Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni, among other delegates.