These new boreholes will be situated at Mabila Primary School and will go a long way in helping the locals who have been struggling with water supply for years. They will now be supplied water from the boreholes which will be used to fill water tanks on the school property. The water will not be for the sole use of the school, but for the rest of the local community, which includes thousands of villagers.
Ha-Mabila is one of the several rural villages within the Vhembe district currently facing water supply challenges. For years they have been reliant on the local river from where they received water through erected pipelines.
“As a community, we are faced with the huge challenge of not having a clean water supply within our village. We have been suffering for years, and nothing is being done to rectify the problem. Maybe it’s because we are situated in deep rural areas that no one seems to care,” said the chairperson of the water services in the area, Mashudu Madeguma.
The only source of water supply in the area is the local river – but only for those who have money to erect pipelines from the river to their homes.
“We are forced pay what little money we have to buy pipes to feed us with dirty water from the river, which we use for drinking and every other household use. The river is 2km away, so those who cannot afford to buy pipes to supply themselves with water have to walk that long distance with buckets that are heavy to carry back,” she said.
But now there is hope in the form of the new borehole project which was initiated by the school, together with community members.
Despite the Vhembe District Municipality’s Executive Mayor Florence Radzilani having made it her priority to provide clean drinking water to all the villages within the district, small villages such as Ha-Mabila have been left without, despite their countless complaints and please for help.
Last month, Mayor Radzilani handed over 10 brand new vehicles to help with water supply. They were bought with the funds allocated for her own mayoral vehicle, which she declined in favour of placing the needs of the communities first.
“I was born and bred here, but I can tell you that I have never seen any of the communal taps which we have at our disposal having any water. I wonder why they were even erected because they are not helping us in any way,” said a local resident, Stephan Sirwali.
He added: “I just hope that we will all benefit from the new developments. As a community, we have to share the small amount of water we have so that we can all survive.”
Matodzi Ralushai, spokesperson for the Vhembe district municipality, said the municipality was embarking on various projects to make sure that the entire district has a running water supply within each village.
An edited version of this story appeared in The Star.