Rain Is Bo: The Importance of Wells

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Rain Is Bo: The Importance of Wells

It was afternoon, in the heat of a mid-February day. Christine, a volunteer whose children attended Munyawiri Primary, had led me into a field near the school to fetch water for our newly-planted garden. She made a small exclamation and pointed into a copse of trees which had held a pool the day before. Today it was dry. We slid through the high grass in search of somewhere new and were rewarded: a shallow pool lay not far off, aswim with tiny stick bugs and tadpoles.

As we filled our five-gallon buckets and turned to leave, it began to rain heavily, and I started trotting across the field with all the grace of a newborn giraffe, bucket slopping left and right.

Not so for Christine. She tilted her head back and laughed uproariously, shouting, “Rain is bo (good)! Rain is bo!” And I learned to slow down and enjoy it, too.

But to people in Zimbabwe, rain is “bo” not only for its wild aesthetic beauty. Rain is “bo” because every time it arrives, it is urgently needed.

Zimbabwe’s winter, or dry season, extends from late March to late November. During this time, total rainfall plummets, and those pools we found at Munyawiri in late February lo longer exist. Motsi, one of Munyawiri’s schoolteachers, informed me that in past dry seasons, they’ve had to drive over a kilometer (.62 miles) to the nearest fresh water source.

This is why our projects consist of a three-part system: garden, well, and fence. Just working with school communities to install a garden would not go far enough in incentivizing anyone to maintain it. It would also be unfair, like giving someone a toy helicopter without the batteries. Wells and well-houses make up the bulk of our spending, but without them, we would not be able to call our system truly sustainable. By providing our nutrition gardens with access to a close, reliable water source, we ensure that they thrive for years to come.


An update on the garden at Munyawiri Primary School:

I spoke with Tindo yesterday and the school is already harvesting the greens we planted last month!


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Showing 2 comments
  • delineados

    First off I want to say great blog! I had
    a quick question in which I’d like to ask if you do not mind.
    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing.
    I have had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.
    I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10
    to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any
    ideas or tips? Kudos!

    • Kaylee Schofield

      Hi there!

      Honestly, the thing that helps me most is to take a walk outside for 20 minutes or more, with the express goal of not thinking about what I need to write. I try to let my mind wander as much as it can. Things pop in more freely when you leave yourself time to play a little. Good luck. 🙂

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