Extracts from a letter from a member of the Zimbabwe WDP National Committee
31st January 2020
… with the continuing power cuts and the rising cost of electricity neither of which appear to be set – even remotely – to improve, our sanity has literally be saved by the constant updating and expansion of our solar system leaving us nearly off the grid.
Today our yard has been a hive of activity as we are embarking on another project. For years we have had a hole for a borehole but the water is at such a depth and there is not such a great volume of it either. We knew we would spend a fortune on electricity getting it to the surface so have never equipped it. However the shortage of water to the city and to households is so bad, we are having a solar pump installed and our hope is that with this water we can grow our own vegetables and maintain a little of the garden in which we have invested over the years but which has also brought great joy to many. It has been hot work clambering over a hot roof and in a sweltering ceiling to connect it all up.
And now, a challenge for us. With the sporadic rain the crops have all but failed and hunger is stalking the streets, schools and businesses. One of XXX’s clients, whose workers went home to the rural areas for the Christmas break, came back to begin work this week. She is in shock and not quite sure where to begin. All (her workers) have lost weight and are in no physical state to begin work – they are just not strong enough and many need medical care for various ailments. She will do what she can: primarily she will feed the workers. We, and others around us, report people turning up at the gate asking for food. Part of the tragedy is that even if food is supplied – and it is – it needs to be a regular supply and in addition good medical care, which is not easily or readily available, needs to be administered. People are already dying and more will do so. In ourselves our diet is adaptable and we do have resources. We do not say that smugly. The challenge is how to help as many as we can as effectively as we can for as long as we can.