Water. It’s something that we in the Western Hemisphere take for granted. It’s easy to turn on the tap to get safe, clean drinking water. But what if your water supply suddenly ran dry? What if your water was making you (and your loved ones) sick? What would you do?
In rural Zimbabwe, this is more than just a rhetorical question. Water security is an issue that everyone is concerned about. In 2011, the government of Zimbabwe invested in having boreholes drilled to access water, especially for rural communities. However, of the 266 holes that were drilled, only 80 of them are currently functioning at full capacity, while most operate at much lower levels, especially during drought periods.
In the Nayamandlovu area, where the JB Dondolo organization is working to refurbish the Igusi Hospital, much of that water is being drawn away to Bulawayo, a city of more than 653,000 people. This is problematic because rural communities are then left with less water to care for the community.
This scarcity causes residents to prioritize what they will do with their water. Their first priority is having water for drinking and cooking. Water scarcity causes sanitation problems as people often opt not to perform certain duties in order to preserve what little water they have. They don’t wash their bodies or their clothes, and choose to relieve themselves in public rather than using a flush toilet. This problem of using public spaces for relieving oneself is partly what was linked to the outbreaks of typhoid and cholera in 2010.
Having access to plentiful and safe drinking water makes it possible for families to feed their families and to maintain hygiene. It also makes it possible for them to plant native plant species which are high in nutrients and also to help them care for small livestock, which helps alleviate poverty.
Our most critical need for the Igusi Hospital is to be able to provide the community with clean water. The Igusi School next door shares the same water line as the Hospital. However, that water is heavy with lime, and could easily be contaminated.
JB Dondolo’s fundraising efforts right now are focused on obtaining the equipment to suppress lime from the source water, to purify it so that it can be used in the hospital, and to have a safe, clean water delivery system implemented into the Hospital.
How can you help?
Please donate to JB Dondolo to help us finish the work that our father started!