Rural development initiatives drive transformation across the country

Staff Reporter

Government has initiated a comprehensive development programme, significantly impacting the lives of many across the nation.

With over 1 000 rural business units established and nearly  3 000 boreholes drilled to provide clean water, this initiative marks a substantial leap towards sustainable development in rural communities.

Focusing on eight strategic areas including rural industrialization, community development, and innovative village business models, the programme has seen extensive groundwork led by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development.

Yesterday, in an interview with the Harare Post, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Development, Professor Obert Jiri shared an insightful update on the on-going progress.

"Thus far, our efforts have resulted in the drilling of 2 960 boreholes, with 1 168 of these now fully equipped with modern bush pumps or solar systems. Importantly, boreholes have been strategically installed not just anywhere, but specifically at chiefs' homesteads and local schools to support the burgeoning village business units," said Professor Jiri.

The development extends to 44 chiefs and 21 schools, which are now home to flourishing school business units.

"The establishment of each village business unit begins with the installation of a borehole, followed closely by the necessary equipment and infrastructure to support viable businesses. Currently, 248 units are under construction nationwide, and we expect to complete these within the next couple of weeks," Professor Jiri elaborated.

He further explained that by integrating market-driven projects within these frameworks, villages are becoming self-sustaining ecosystems.

"Consider a village of 1 000 households transformed by the introduction of a single business unit. Residents can cultivate and sell vegetables, secure drinking water, and provide for their livestock. The resultant by-products also feed the livestock, ensuring that the village sustains itself," Professor Jiri illustrated.

According to Professor Jiri, due to these initiatives, enhanced access to nutritious food sources and additional income streams from vegetable sales have notably improved local livelihoods.

"We are seeing transformative changes, such as a reduction in school dropouts, as parents are now able to afford tuition fees through increased income," he added.

As the Second Republic pushes forward, these rural development programs are not just altering landscapes but are fundamentally transforming lives.

With over 1 000 business units bolstered by sustainable water resources and 248 more in the pipeline, the future looks promising for rural communities across the country.