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Solar Powered Boreholes Will Solve Zimbabwe's Water Problems

Typhoid has been reported to be severe in high-density suburbs of Highfield, Budiriro, Mbare and Glen Norah to mention but a few. 

Typhoid in urban areas is caused by drinking unclean water that is being delivered by the Harare City Council or other urban local governments which is exacerbated by the continuous drinking of tap water delivered through old water pipes.

Clean water is everyone’s right according to the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20) Chapter 4 Part 2, Section 77. It states that everyone has the right to safe and clean water, and the State must take reasonable legislative and other measures within the limits of the resources available.

Many boreholes which were drilled during the 2008 and 2009 cholera outbreak have malfunctioned leaving a glimpse of two worlds apart on a smaller scale. In Ward 29, Glen- Norah A, two boreholes portray different worlds apart as the other is working whilst the other is desolate. With the Harare City Council (HCC) tap water being shunned by many as dirty, residents are now relying on borehole water for drinking.

Some boreholes in urban areas have malfunctioned. Clean and safe water has become a scarce commodity.

A middle-aged barber based at Nenyere Mbare flats revealed that clean water was now a problem due to few boreholes servicing the area.“Many boreholes need to be rehabilitated as residents are enduring agony in fetching water from far away boreholes. The water table level has decreased thus leaving the bush pump boreholes without water”, he said on condition of anonymity.

Residents could be seen around the hostels carrying containers full of water. Precious Noto of Glen Norah is convinced that drinking refrigerated tap water is the solution. Ms Noriwe Chinhara of Tynwald South has vowed never to drink tap water for fear of contracting typhoid but to use the condemned water for cooking, bathing and washing.
Solar Powered Boreholes Will Solve Zimbabwe's Water Problems
Solar Powered Boreholes
Humanitarian organisations are working flat out to quell the outbreak of typhoid. Latter-Day Saints Church is assisting by drilling boreholes in urban communities at the risk of typhoid. Medicines Sans Frontiers is rehabilitating malfunctioning boreholes with the help of local community water groups. However, as the case in Ward 29, Glen-Norah A and other urban communities, other residents have managed to have their nearby boreholes rehabilitated whilst their counterparts in the same ward left theirs idle as no one mobilized them to form a water club.


Freddy Mtisi of Glen Norah A blamed the economic hardships for people to contribute money for the water committees. Measures should be taken because even bush pump boreholes being drilled by Latter Day Saints Church will malfunction in due course because of climate change which has seen water levels in many parts of the country decreasing.

With many residents not affording to fork money to buy electric generators for water, it is about time the government explored using solar-powered boreholes to alleviate water problems in communities

The provision of clean and adequate water is a Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) under sustainable livelihoods. Ever since the borehole in Glen Norah was rehabilitated residents nearby have never been short of clean and safe water to drink.

Solar submersible pumps are a solution as they are cost-saving and can pump water on low water table level. The water pump can be used whilst being 80 meters down thereby managing residents to draw water even when the water table is low.

Most solar submersible pumps can pump up to 35000 litres per hour and tank reservoirs can be constructed. Solar submersible pumps are environmentally friendly.

Waterfalls under natural resources so local Green Funds can be used for solar energy to be used on desolate boreholes and boreholes that will assist in alleviating typhoid. Solar energy boreholes are cost-effective on the part of the residents and also the donor community thereby many boreholes will be reached.

Government must seriously consider the use of these solar pumps as they can alleviate water problems in the urban areas.

The idea of having clean and safe water will also lead to self-sufficiency, build sustainable communities and empower community action over the use of natural resources that is water powered by solar energy respite of electricity energy.

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Slider Parnert

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