Need for water unites villagers in Mbire
Prevalence of peace in most rural communities is something that every community member yearns for as it brings development. However to achieve that, there are a lot of hurdles that communities must overcome .In most rural communities, the effects of climate change have greatly affected such an achievement. Water sources have also dried up and this has created a lot of conflicts and scramble for this natural resource within communities. Against all odds some communities have managed to strive for peace by rallying community members together through various activities that encourage social cohesion and development. Such is the story of Kubatana peace club which operates in Mbire ward 12 which has been established by a community that works with Heal Zimbabwe.
On 8 June 2016, the peace club mobilised the local community for a collaborative neutral platform (nhimbe) where they were fencing a local borehole. The event was attended by 70 community members who included Village head Masanduka. The borehole serves four villages in the area which are Masandauka, Dzaramba, Tudhu and Chiwapura. The peace club utilized the nhimbe of fencing the borehole as an opportunity to address the conflict of water that they identified when they carried out a conflict mapping of their area in the month of May as a major cause of most conflicts in their area.
Village head Musandauka hailed the initiative by the peace club as a positive step in encouraging social cohesion and peace among community members. “Today is a historic day for us, although we have water challenges in our area, but we have realised that working together like this encourages prevalence of peace and help us to be responsible community members, he said.
Several community members who spoke to Heal Zimbabwe at the nhimbe hailed the effort by Kubatana peace to try and bring peace in the area and expressed willingness to join the peace club. The nhimbe by Tabudira comes against a backdrop where all community peace clubs established by Heal Zimbabwe have carried out conflict mapping exercises in their areas where they identified activities that they would implement to minimize conflicts and the stakeholders who would help in mitigating the conflicts. Community peace clubs in Gutu,Zaka,Tsholotsho,Buhera, Gokwe,Muzarabani,Mazowe,Buhera,Mutasa and Chipinge are also carrying out activities such as nhimbes, dialogues and sports for peace in order to minimize conflicts in their areas.
Collaborative neutral platforms such as nhimbes are some among many strategies used by community peace clubs to build peace and social cohesion in local communities.