By Byron Mutingwende
The Zimbabwe Schools Water and Agriculture Project is a self-sustainable water project that is set to positively impact learning institutions countrywide. The project is aimed at improving the lives of children for both rural and urban communities. It is a multi-pronged project that gives schools and communities access to clean water, educates children on farming and agriculture and links communities to markets to sell produce from ZIMSWAP. Through the assistance of Provincial Education Directors under Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education schools are selected to be part of ZIMSWAP.
Speaking during the launch of the ZIMSWAP project at Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare Thursday, Antony Makintosh, the Managing Director of C&J Accounting and Secretarial Services said that ensuring the adequate provision of water was of paramount importance.
“Through ZIMSWAP, we install a borehole, solar powered pump and drip irrigation system in schools. Where appropriate an aqua culture project will be envisaged.
“We all know water is the most basic need of every living creature: from people, to animals and plants. Water is a source of life, without water there is no life. The availability of clean and safe water for schools in Zimbabwe is one of the objectives of ZIMSWAP and our hope and dream is to have clean and safe water at all schools,” Mackintosh said.
Mackintosh said that C and J Accounting engaged partners like Prime Seed which has experience in agriculture and trained agronomists to ensure the success of this project. Their financial partners include CABS and Old Mutual.
ZIMSWAP aims to empower schools, transform local communities and enable sustainable development through the provision of a sustainable and long-term solution for water supply. The project seeks to create a passion for agriculture in children from a very young age hence the target of primary and secondary schools.
The project enhances the capability of the school to generate income for itself and also ensures that there is food security at the school –promoting the home grown feeding programme for pupils.
“This project is still in its infancy hence we ask for your continual support and guidance-Honourable Minister. We commend the tireless work and assistance we receive from Provincial Education Directors, District School Inspectors, headmasters and the local communities. Your work has been outstanding. We urge you all to continue assisting us to ensure the success of ZIMSWAP.
“In addition to this, ZIMSWAP will create jobs for the local community and will ensure the transfer of skills, therefore creating wealth and promoting local economic development. This in turn creates optimal empowerment and job creation for our local communities, especially women and the youth.
Their meaningful involvement must be ensured at all times in the planning and implementation of projects in our communities,” Mackintosh added.
ZIMSWAP committed to provide technical support to the communities involved in the project as well as the maintenance of the infrastructure.
In October 2016, C & J Accounting and The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Schools Education signed a Memorandum of Understanding to commence ZIMSWAP. At the moment, the pilot phase of the project is approaching its completion.