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Even before Zimbabwe’s National Upgraded Well Programme began in the late 1980’s, one million people drew their water daily from both communal and family owned shallow wells. The number of families owning some sort of well or water hole in their back yard or vegetable garden was estimated at 100 000 at that time. Thus the shallow well concept was well established as a source of water in the rural areas of Zimbabwe.
Whilst some of these wells were adequately protected, most were either unprotected or poorly protected and had the tendency to become heavily contaminated. This was partly because of rainwater run-off but also due to contaminated buckets and ropes laying in unhygienic conditions at the well head, on the ground, and being reintroduced into the well. Many were dangerous, especially for children, because they were poorly lined, if at all, and had little or no protection at the well head. Possibly because they were regarded more as a threat to health than a benefit, these family owned back yard wells did not appear on any inventory of rural water sources, and were not regarded seriously by Government or other organisations at the start of the national rural water supply programme which began in 1980 with the help of external donor support. And yet in some areas over 30% of the population use shallow wells on a daily basis. The National Master Plan for rural water development, written in the early 1980’s mentioned them only in passing. The emphasis at that time, was to serve the rural people with a communally based hand pump supply.
P. MORGAN (2006) Zimbabwe's Upgraded Family Well Programme. , n/a , n/a
Zimbabwes Upgraded family well programm
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