By Henry Sekanjako

SEKE, ZIMBABWE, July 11 — The Zimbabwe government has instituted administrative and technical regulations to govern the drilling of boreholes across the country, says Environment, Water and Climate Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

All boreholes drilled throughout the country should be registered with the government, Kasukuwere said when addressing a function to launch a five-year programme to drill boreholes in rural schools by the Chinese government at Dunolly Primary School in Dema, a few kilometers outside the capital, Thursday.

“The government now issues permits for borehole drilling through our catchment councils which are stakeholder-driven institutions established by the Water Act of 1998. All drilling companies should also be
registered with the government and competence certificates issued,” he said.

Kasukuwere commended the Chinese government for supporting Zimbabwe implement the programme at a time when the country was experiencing potable water challenges, a move which would go a long way in eradicating water-borne diseases.

He said the programme would cover Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Manicaland provinces.
“A total of 500 new boreholes are going to be drilled in all the districts of our provinces,” he said.

“Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Midlands, Matabeleland South and North provinces are already covered by another 60 million USD Integrated Rural Water Supply and Sanitation programme under my Ministry. Under this programme, 1,500 new boreholes are going to be drilled and 10,000 existing boreholes will be rehabilitated.”

Minister of state for Provincial Affairs for Mashonaland East Simbaneuta Mudarikwa said the long term
relationship of China and Zimbabwe was critical to the successful implementation of the economic blueprint ZimAssert.

“China is our all-weather friend, from the times of the struggle we shared the same sentiments to fight against British imperialism and now we are sharing the same struggle to fight against hunger and diseases,”
he said.

In a speech read on his behalf, Chinese Ambassador to Zimbabwe Lin Lin said China was committed to assist the country drill 500 boreholes in order to increase access to safe water. “Earlier this year, 64 boreholes had been completed in Matabeleland North and South. We are here today to witness the start of another 136 boreholes for Mashonaland Central and East provinces,” he added.

“Drilling of the remaining 300 boreholes for the three provinces is expected to begin later this year. As Zimbabwe’s all-weather friend, China is more than willing to support your efforts in improving the livelihood of the people,” he said.