Zimbabwe is a country that, like many others in Africa, suffers from drought at times which can have a devastating effect on the food supply when so many are dependent on growing their own crops. Drought conditions also have an impact on the health of many, particularly young children, especially in the rural areas where there may not be access to clean safe water. The answer to these problems can be found in providing boreholes for such rural communities to give access to clean safe water and also the provision of water to irrigate crops. Since 2014 the Trust has been able to facilitate the provision of three boreholes in rural communities as we have worked in partnership with Meadow Way Chapel in Norwich and Gideon Chishamba, a Christian brother in Zimbabwe, who has a real burden to show Christ’s love and compassion in needy rural communities in an area of Zimbabwe often badly affected by drought conditions.

As a Trust we were approached by Meadow Way Chapel with the offer to fund the drilling of a borehole for a needy rural community in Zimbabwe. Contact with Gideon soon identified a community at Makamure which was without a supply of clean safe water and as a consequence a number of children within that community were suffering from water borne diseases and some had died. This community is over 200 miles from Bulawayo in a remote area of S E Zimbabwe, yet Gideon, who lives in Bulawayo, worked tirelessly and travelled many miles in dealing with local contractors to obtain quotations and overseeing the work. That borehole was completed in 2014 and continues to provide a clean water supply to that rural community, overcoming the problems of disease caused by drinking unsafe water.

Since then the church at Meadow Way Chapel have funded two further boreholes for needy communities, providing one in Mtshazo in 2015 and a further borehole in Mandiva in 2016. These latter two have also been provided with solar powered pumping systems. In each of these situations Gideon has worked in fellowship with the local churches, who have taken ownership of the boreholes and, as such, the projects are a witness to these communities of the love and compassion of Christ. The spiritual impact of these projects is seen in the report Gideon sent following the drilling of the borehole at Mtshazo: “On the commissioning day we invited one of the Pastors from Bulawayo, who shared about the true water which we all need to drink so that we quench all kind of thirst we have. One of the things that really excite us is how the people of this community are responding to the word of God and drinking now from the right pure cistern of His word.”

Such is the burden Gideon has for these needy rural communities that he is concerned to see them established in projects that will enable them to become self-supporting. As a result, with funding from Meadow Way Chapel, Gideon has overseen the establishment of 95 garden plots for individual families to grow their own crops with borehole irrigation at Makamure and a further 20 garden plots at Mandiva. We have also been able to supply these communities with seed and Gideon and his team are training them in the principles of Farming God’s Way (Foundations of Farming) which uses the earth’s natural resources to get the best yields from the crops.

It has been a privilege to work in partnership with the church at Meadow Way Chapel in Norwich and Gideon Chishamba in Bulawayo to support these rural communities in such positive ways.We would love to hear from other churches or individuals who are interested in developing similar partnerships with us.There are still many communities in desperate need of clean water or who would benefit greatly from sustainable agricultural or energy initiatives.