Gwanda rural district councillors have appealed to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to channel more resources towards the construction of dams and sinking of boreholes to deal with the perennial water challenges faced by communities.

While NGOs have continued to complement government efforts through the implementation of various programmes and projects, councillors in the drought prone district of Gwanda say there is an urgent need for development partners to shift their focus towards addressing the perennial water problems faced by communities.

The leaders who were speaking during a Gwanda Rural District Development Committee meeting revealed that people’s livelihoods which are anchored on livestock rearing and irrigation farming are under serious threat owing to the deepening water crisis.

Councillors said currently the drought conditions have wiped out hundreds of animals while most households are facing serious food shortages.

“We are not saying we do not appreciate the work done by NGOs but all we want as a district is water. With water we can do anything. Our animals won’t die and we can establish many irrigation schemes,” they said.

Representatives of NGOs lamented the shortage of resources to embark on dam construction projects but pledged to continue with efforts aimed at building resilience among communities.

The revival of the “Give a Dam” campaign is one way in which the water challenges facing the province can be tackled.

The water situation in Matabeleland South Province has been worsened by the fact that about 95 dams are now dry, 134 need desilting and 34 breached due to cyclone induced rains experienced in the past.