CHIEF Mukuni has praised a Non-Governmental Organisation, the Butterfly Tree, for embarking on an exercise to drill 8 boreholes in some selected villages of Kazungula district to mitigate the effects of drought.
And Lwezi villagers north-east of Mukuni village on Tuesday mobbed Martin Mushabati, a Butterfly Tree representative, for managing to drive a vehicle into the village, a feat that has never been achieved before.
In an interview, chief Mukuni, whose area covers Livingstone, Kazungula and Zimba districts said the exercise would enable villagers who have already been adversely affected by the drought access clean drinking water.
“We have a very serious problem of water accessibility in our villages due to poor rainfall. Apart from water, our villagers are experiencing extreme hunger due to poor rainfall last season…most of the streams have dried out and what makes it even worse for my subjects is that their
villages sit on land which is over 70 to 100 meters above the Zambezi River and the gorges are too steep, so they are unable to get water from the river, which is basically about 70 to 100 meters below,” chief Mukuni said.
He added that Butterfly Tree had been making a difference in the lives of the rural people in his village and Nyawa chiefdom.
“This should have been a continuous programme undertaken by a serious government,” said chief Mukuni.
And Mushabati said he was mobbed on Tuesday when he managed to drive his 4×4 cruiser into Lwezi village.
“The people there have never seen a vehicle before reach their village. For some women and children, it was the first time they were seeing a machine called a vehicle. I learnt that I am the first person to drive a into that area. If it was a white man, this would have been all over social media and even CNN or BBC, but here I am, I have broken the record,” he said.
Mushabati revealed that in one area where a borehole was supposed to be drilled, a drilling truck could not get there due to the poor state of the road, but he has given the villagers a week to turn the footpath into a road so that the truck can get to the village.
“I can’t imagine that in this time and age we have villages where vehicles can’t get to and we sing proud and free Zambians. If only our leaders can find time and get out of their comfort zone and drive to remotest areas and see how some people are living, for Lwezi, it’s just 70 kilometres north-east of Mukuni village and no vehicle has ever gotten there,” said Mshabati.
“We are drilling two boreholes in Mukuni village, two in Nyawa and we are looking for places for four others.”