Mthokozisi Ndebele, trainee reporter for Zicora Mobile Network in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (14 March 2012) – The National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (NANGO) has started a campaign of petitioning the government so that it speeds up the completion of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water project. The project is set to draw water from the Zambezi River.
The delay in the completion of the MZWP that started in 1912 has drawn the ire of women who have to travel long distances to fetch water. Thabo Dube (19) says she faces serious dangers when she fetches water. She says that she passes through a thick bush which might land her in the wrong hands, just to get water.
‘We are really facing water challenges. There is nothing we can do but to go all the way as we also need water to use our homes. We pass through thick bushes and this might put us in serious dangers as we risk being rapped’, she said.
The pipeline is believed to be the panacea of most of Matabeleland’s water problems as it will have off-lets along the way which will see most people starting irrigation and nutrition gardens.
‘We have started a campaign of forcing government to liberalize water laws in the country as this will also see the completion of the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project’.
Critics on the other hand argue that the project is now used for political bargaining who hold the people at ransom.
Over the years the project was overseen by a committee outside government but since the start of the Inclusive Government, it has been over-taken by government and changed to National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project.
People have made it clear that they do not care what the project is called but all they need is water.