Tsholotsho villagers have called on the government to rehabilitate dams in the district as they are facing acute water shortages.
The collapse of Gariya dam in 2017 coupled with the drought situation compounded the water woes for Ward 7 villagers.
“We are appealing to the government to assist us re-build Gariya dam, that dam was our major supply dam for many surrounding villages,” said Cleopas Nyathi.
Another villager, Christopher Dube said the water crisis in the area has contributed to poverty being experienced by the villagers.
“Some of our neighboring villages are now surviving on fetching water in the nearby game-park which is also risky as they have to share the resource with wild animals such as elephants. We cannot engage in farming projects due to water shortages,” said Dube.
The villagers said another key water source, Ngulubeni dam is in dire need of rehabilitation.
Besides the rehabilitation of dams, the villagers also implored to drill more boreholes in the area.
Tsholotsho North Member of Parliament, Sibangumuzi Khumalo said the District Development Fund (DDF) was working on rehabilitating Gariya dam.
“DDF undertook to repair the dam to completion, they have completely closed the walls where the water had breached,” sKhumalo.
“However, the collapse of Gariya dam wall gave wild animals and livestock access into the dam, they have been walking on the dam wall hence it needs remaking.
“Due to little rains received this year, Gariya dam held a little bit of water, there wasn’t much inflow into the dam, but that was a blessing in disguise because we are not very certain about the strength of the dam wall.”
He said Covid-19 has stalled some of the repair works.
“However, quite some work still remains in Gariya dam, I believe the undertaking done by DDF, all things being equal they would have been through, but Covid-19 has affected some of the works that should have been undertaken,” said Khumalo.
He added that DDF promised to extend their assistance to four other dams in the area to deal with the water challenges.