By Mbekezeli Ncube recently in Nkayi
A DEVELOPMENT initiative, the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) is doing well to break the poverty cycle in Esingeni village, Nkayi, Matabeleland North where hunger has tormented one of the country’s most vulnerable communities.
The ZRBF is a long term development initiative by the Ministry of Lands with funding from the European Union, the Embassy of Sweden, the United Nations Development Programme and the UK Department for International Development to the tune of US$80 million.
The project was implemented in July 2016 and ends in March 2021.
ZRBF, through the Matabeleland Enhanced Livelihoods, Agriculture and Nutrition Adaptation (Melana) Consortium managed to fund a project which led to the successful building of a dip-tank and a piped water scheme for Esingeni village which falls under ward 25 in Nkayi.
The piped water scheme comprises of nine water taps from a borehole supported by a solar submersible pump, a 30 000 litre water storage system as well as a gravity fed distribution system with sand pipes.
The locals had been depending on neighbouring villages for dipping their livestock since the early 1970s until the project was implemented in 2017, leading to the construction of the dip-tank which was built and concluded the following year.
Nkayi is a cattle ranching district.
Esingeni village has 117 households which benefit from both projects where over 1700 cattle receive treatment from the dip-tank while the locals including Esingeni Secondary School now get water from the 30 000 litre water storage tanks.
NewZimbabwe.com last week visited the area.
The 259 kilometre stretch linking the place to Bulawayo is a poor road and much of the place has bad mobile communication network reception.
Councillor for Ward 25, Elmon Sibanda said he was looking forward to more great development in the area through the Melana project.
“I am humbled by Melana, out of all the wards in this area they located my ward. Women now grow their vegetables easily and their gardens are flourishing,” said Sibanda.
“We are pleading with Melana not to abandon us because there is still a lot that we need, we are still in need of their help,” said Sibanda.
He also said the secondary school and Esingeni Primary School were in desperate need of refurbishment and Melana could assist by supplying cement for the construction of new classroom blocks.
Enoch Moyo, chairperson of the committee of the project in the ward, said the community was very grateful for the development which the Melana Consortium had done for it because these projects had brought improvement to Esingeni and people’s lives had been made easier.
“We are very happy with what Melana has done for our community because we used to travel very long distances to get our livestock dipped from neighbouring dip-tanks. Many villagers lost their cattle through diseases because we had last dipped them in 2013.
“The piped water scheme has helped the community to gain access to safe water and has also improved on health and good hygiene. We used to fetch water from unsecured sources like uncovered wells which led to outbreaks of diseases like diarrhoea and cholera,” said Moyo.