Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Sunday News Reporter
THE District Development Fund (DDF) has changed livelihoods of more than 4,5 million people through improved water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services which has seen 40 000 boreholes drilled and serviced, while close to 200 000 household latrines have been constructed.
DDF is a Government department under the Office of the President tasked with the development and maintenance of infrastructure, water supplies, road services, hire of plant and equipment as well as tillage services. In an interview on Friday, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs in charge of Implementation and Monitoring, Dr Jorum Gumbo said DDF managed to drill close to 10 000 boreholes since last year and also serviced close to 30 000 boreholes as Government moves to address water shortages in towns as well as improving access to safe water in rural areas. Dr Gumbo said DDF also constructed close to 200 000 household latrines in rural areas and rehabilitated piped water schemes.
“Under the WASH programme DDF was able to reach out to more than 4,5 million people with improved access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services. In this regard the programme enabled DDF to drill 16 634 boreholes, rehabilitated 25 526. DDF also managed to rehabilitate piped water schemes and constructed 198 906 household latrines,” he said.
Dr Gumbo said there is a need to recapitalise DDF, which is operating at 30 percent capacity, for it to be able to diligently execute its mandate. The Government procured 16 motorised graders and 24 supervisory vehicles for the department that were handed over to DDF on Friday last week. Dr Gumbo said DDF was strategic in the development of rural areas.
“DDF needs recapitalisation. The department is operating at 30 percent capacity. It is very strategic in development mostly in rural areas. So far DDF managed to construct more than 32 000km of roads in rural areas and resettlements. It is also responsible for the construction of bridges. We are happy that Treasury availed funds to procure some of the equipment needed. This will definitely go a long way in addressing some of the challenges bedevilling the department,” he said.
DDF recently received a combined $444 million for an emergency rehabilitation of roads and boreholes, and work is underway in almost all provinces as some communities have been cut-off due to bad roads. For roads maintenance, DDF got $400 million, while the water division received $44 million for Covid-19 interventions and is now using the funds for maintenance and drilling of boreholes. – The Sunday News