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Delighted members of the Rotary Club of Exeter Southernhay were toasting themselves in water today.

There celebration marked the fruition of all the effort and money that had been directed into a £7,500 project to give water to the villagers of Zimbili, a small community 40 miles north of Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.

Two years ago club president Caroline Colin presented the idea to club members with all the emotion of someone who had fled Zimbabwe with her husband Len several years before,leaving all worldly goods behind them but retaining a huge compassion for the people of that once rich but now poor country.

Many of the local villagers were elderly people who had great difficulty in walking the 8k to fetch and carry their daily water. Their village Chief and community leader Mrs Mathuthu made a plea to the local Rotary Club of Bulawayo South and so Rotary became involved.

With the additional help of Alresford Rotary Club from Winchester and a District Grant to provide funding from The Rotary Foundation a survey was carried out and boreholes were dug.

All were dry and more money and determination was needed to fund additional boreholes. Caroline visited the site and assured the villagers that we would not give up.

Finally water was struck and a bush pump installed to the great delight of villagers.

Tools were also donated and some community members trained in care and maintenance