Umzingwane Rural District Council (URDC) must ensure that it improves access to clean and portable water as well as health provision through allocation of more resources to these essential services in the 2019 budget. This was raised during a pre-budget consultation meeting organized by Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) in Ward 3, Umzingwane District today.
The meeting was part of a series organized by WILD to prepare communities for the official consultation meetings to be held by local authorities over the coming few weeks.
As part of the issues to be tabled to their local authority, the scores of women attending today’s meeting highlighted the irony of them lacking clean and portable water while the Mtshabezi dam, which is just next to the village, supplies water to the City of Bulawayo for domestic consumption.
“We want our council to facilitate the drilling of more boreholes in our ward as we can no longer fetch water directly from the dam because of fear of contracting water-borne diseases. The drilling of more boreholes will reduce the distances women walk to nearest safe water sources,” said one participant.
Speaking on the sidelines of the pre-budget consultation meeting, the ward councilor, William Ngwenya, acknowledged the shortage of clean water sources in the ward.
“The only challenge we have in the area is that boreholes which were pegged so many years ago have not been drilled even up to now. This is because the area is very rocky and some areas are quite muddy. We need advanced borehole drilling equipment to help deliver safe water for the community,” he explained.
Ngwenya added that the community benefits from the dam for irrigation purposes but said more still needs to be done to encourage entrepreneurship amongst Ward 2 women.
Other issues identified by the community women for prioritization in the 2019 budget were the provision of mobile clinics in the ward, rehabilitation of roads as well as the setting up of Early Childhood Development (ECD) facilities in the ward to reduce the distances children below five walk to nearest schools.
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