During this month of Ramadan, Turkey, through the Turkish Diyanet Foundation is donating food hampers and highly-mechanized, state-of-the-art boreholes to the needy people in various communities in Zimbabwe.
During the official opening of one of the more than 30 boreholes donated around the country from February 2021 to date in the Chihwiti area of Makonde District in Mashonaland West Province today, Mr. Mohamed Taha Kotan, a senior official with the Turkish Diyanet Foundation in charge of Ramadan said the gesture was a sign of the strong ties that exist between Turkey and Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe and Turkey enjoy deep ties spanning across the business, religion, social and political spectrum. It is because of these deep, warm, and cordial relations that we came all the way from Turkey and made sure the Zimbabwean people have access to clean and safe water through these boreholes. This relationship will go into the unforeseeable future,” Mr. Kotan said.
He emphasized that the donation is targeted at all people in need, despite their religious, ethnic, racial, tribal, or political persuasions.
In appreciation of the donation, Mr. Doctor Yondo, the Ward 8 Development Committee Chairperson who is also the village head under which the borehole was commissioned, said the initiative was a timely panacea to the perennial water shortages that dogged the area.
“For the first time in many years of our existence, we can safely say that as a community, we now consider water shortages a thing of the past. On behalf of the people of Makonde and on my own behalf as the village head, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the people of the Republic of Turkey for this kind gesture of availing the most precious liquid in human and animal lives – water,” Mr. Yondo said.
He said there are approximately 35 000 people in Ward 8 of Makonde who before the donation of the state-of-the-art borehole by the Diyanet Foundation depended on only 3 bush pumps for water which could only last them until the end of winter before drying up.
To corroborate Mr. Yondo’s sentiments, Mr. Kenias Kuiparima, a senior teacher at Chihwiti Primary School recounted harrowing tales of how students from his school used to travel for more than 5 kilometres in search of water, a situation that led them to miss some of the lessons at school.
Mr. Kuiparima appealed to Diyanet Foundation for another borehole to be sunk at the school so as to cater for its enrolment of over 1 200 pupils at the primary school and other 300 students at the nearby secondary school.
Mr. Hakan Kivanc, the Ambassador of Turkey to Zimbabwe said his country’s good works in support of the people of Zimbabwe are ongoing and not seasonal.
“We support Zimbabwe not only during Ramadan but throughout the whole year. Turkey, through its State institutions, as well as its NGOs, donates in different ways. These donations come from the generous heart of Turkish people to the friendly and brotherly people of Zimbabwe. This is the least we could do. Our donations will continue,” Mr. Kivanc said.
Mr. Adam Wadi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Information Bureau Trust that works hand-in-glove with the Turkish Embassy in Zimbabwe and the Diyanet Foundation revealed that the institutions, on top of donating boreholes to the various communities, are also embarking on a food relief programmes countrywide.
“On 14 April 2021, we visited Lydiate Farm in Norton as well as communities in Chitungwiza where we gave a considerable number of families some food hampers that will last them a month as a way of cushioning them against the COVID-19-induced food shortages. In doing all this, we will be spreading the love that exists between the people of Turkey and Zimbabwe,” Mr. Wadi said.
The Diyanet Foundation has a presence in 94 countries. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation has reached out to 46 countries with humanitarian aid relief.