Challenged by the plight of his elderly parents, who were struggling to draw water from a nearby river for their daily chores, a Plumtree man came up with an idea to bring the water closer to them.
This has not only helped Sobala Ncube’s immediate family but the whole Ward 10 Makwakwa village in Mangwe district which has been faced with a water crisis.
Using sand abstraction technology to draw the water, Ncube has improved access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.
The project entailed laying pipes for about a kilometre and installing a solar-powered engine to pump the water.
Now his parents and community members just open a tap to access the precious liquid.
His next step is to venture into farming, a project that will involve the whole community.
“After listening to the President’s mantra of ‘Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabanikazi’ I thought why can’t I execute what is being said by the President, so we have managed to draw water for the community, the next step is to develop an irrigation system that is going to give people jobs, beef up both the young and the elderly nutrition, train the youth,” said Ncube.
He said the irrigation scheme will also improve the nutrition of the community members.
“We also understand that in rural areas we have nutritional challenges, there are a lot of children who go to school on empty stomachs, we believe that this project will actually assist our community in terms of food security,” said Ncube.
“Skills development is another thing that we are hoping to achieve through this project, we understand that this community has several youths who are not skilled so we believe that while they will be working here, they will also be getting skills.”
He urged other stakeholders who would like to partner with the community to come on board so they can expand the projects.
“We believe that is the true meaning of community development as well as economic development, we are inviting different stakeholders, those that are willing to come and help because as much as we have done it, we don’t have all the capacity to do it but if we can collaborate and partner with our government for example, with other stakeholders that are willing, we can take the water project to the next community,” said Ncube
One of the villagers who participated in the project, Adam Bhango Dube said they are thrilled to have access to tap water as most villagers are benefitting.
“People of this area have development plans, all they require is for the resources that are here to be fully utilized by them, led by visionaries like Sobala Ncube. People are benefiting from this project very well; we have had a lot of activities involving the community because they are aware they are benefitting heavily,” said Dube.
Mavis Ncube, a health worker in Makwakwa village said the project has improved water and sanitation in the area.
“We used to get water by first digging in the river and this exposed the community members to a lot of water borne diseases such as typhoid and diarrhoea which affected mostly young children as they are the most vulnerable but even the old people were affected,” said Ncube.
Ncube said the availability of access to clean water also reduced the Covid-19 cases in the area as villagers had easy access to water.
“As a village health worker, I noticed that our cases in this ward were less compared to other areas and I think it’s due to the fact that we already had easy access to clean water and so villagers could constantly wash their hands and avail water for hand washing,” she said.