Mutemwa Leprosy Care Centre is situated in Mashonaland, in the eastern province of Zimbabwe. The Centre is supported by the John Bradburne Memorial Society (JBMS), founded in memory of the OFS brother from the United Kingdom. The beatification cause of John Bradburne, who lived in Mutemwa for the last 10 years of his life taking care of leprosy patients and was killed in 1979 during Zimbabwe independence war, is open and under way. Since the JBMS, as a registered charity, is based on our common Franciscan charism, “Well4Africa” decided to fund the water project in the Mutemwa Leprosy Care Centre and to ensure stable supply of clean water to the community.
The situation in Zimbabwe is dire and people are suffering greatly all over the country. Water is a high priority right now with all the droughts they have been having in that part of Africa. Zimbabwe faces hotter summers and increasing water shortages every year.
Mutemwa water project was delayed due to Covid lockdown regulations and rainy season which was not a right time to drill the borehole in order to get to a real water table. The drilling began on 22 July 2021. At 70 metres a low yield was found and a capacity testing was recommended. This test was carried out on 30 July, and afterwards it was recommended to deepen the borehole to 106 metres. The deepening was done on 3 September and water yield was much better this time. The installation of the borehole and construction of the fencing were completed in October-November. On 13 December Eremenciana Chinyama OFS, the newly elected CIOFS Presidency Councilor, and fr. Tawanda Chirigo OFM, national spiritual assistant, visited Mutemwa for a final evaluation of the project.
The whole length of 106 metres of Mutemwa borehole is double-cased in order to prevent collapse. It is equipped with a pressure tank to enable pumping into the reservoir tank. A digital pump is programmed so that it pumps in the exact amount of water that has been pumped out. It ensures that the reservoir tank is always filled to capacity. The borehole is enclosed by a mesh fence and there is a guard post with a guard patrolling daily. The drilling company provided one-year service warranty and free training for those who will do the maintenance after the warranty expires.
This constant and sustainable source of fresh water is a vital lifeline to the entire community of Mutemwa. The borehole project benefits 34 patients, 17 destitute people, 4 Franciscan friars and a staff compliment of 24 employees and all their families. Against a background of perennial water shortages, the borehole will add value to the garden project which was almost obsolete due to lack of water. The patients and homeless people are guaranteed nutritious meals due to the water. Workers who had long been burdened with the
The works were implemented by Skylake Borehole Drilling and Mutoko Tile Centre from July to November 2021. The amount donated to the project was EUR 14,008. A video about Mutemwa water project is available here.
We are very thankful to all OFS national fraternities who regularly transfer their donations. Since the awareness of the social initiative “Well4Africa” is growing among the Franciscan Family members in Africa and we receive more and more applications every year, your constant promotion and help is invaluable.
All news and reports of the social initiative are available on well4africa.eu website which is available in 8 languages: English, Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, German, Hungarian and Lithuanian. We kindly ask you, if possible, to place the “Well4Africa” logo on the homepages of your national fraternities with a link to the official website of the social initiative. Your support to this initiative of the Secular Franciscan Order can also be expressed by following, liking and sharing our social media: Instagram profile @well4africa.eu and Facebook page Well4Africa.
We are so grateful to all our brothers and sisters who constantly serve by providing us multilingual translations, particularly to Nadia Rudolf von Rohr OFS from Switzerland for coordination of this process. Our special thanks go to Tadas Ringys OFS from Lithuania for creation and administration of the “Well4Africa” website. May the Lord bless you all for your tireless work!
We wish to express our appreciation to the OFS national fraternities which have assigned their “Well4Africa” contact persons by country. Like every year, we kindly ask the National Councils to revise the contact list and confirm the details (indicated person and email) representing your national fraternity by email firstname.lastname@example.org until 31 January 2022. New contact persons for other countries are very welcome to join our team!
Please be informed that all three former CIOFS Presidency councilors (Attilio Galimberti OFS, Jennifer Harrington OFS and Michel Janian OFS) will continue working on the “Well4Africa” coordination team after finishing their service in the Presidency. Although the newly elected Presidency Councilors for African areas do not belong to the “Well4Africa” coordination team, both of them will always be involved with regard to water projects of OFS national fraternities in their areas. And finally, we would like to add that the task of “Well4Africa” is not only to ensure a safe potable water supply for our brothers and sisters, but also to enable OFS members in African countries to take responsibility and commit themselves during all the phases of the project, from application to implementation and maintenance.
Virginija Mickute OFS
National minister and international councilor of the OFS Lithuania
Main coordinator of the social initiative “Well4Africa”
Attilio Galimberti OFS
“Well4Africa” coordinator of the technical implementation of the projects