NEWS FROM ST. JOHN’S MISSION, ZIMBABWE, AS AT APRIL 2012

Dear Friends,


I was very happy to see some of you when I visited Ireland in October 2011. I wish to thank all those who helped with the fund raising last year. Please don’t get tired! There is still a great need in our area to build more dams, and sadly the rainy season which just ended in March 2012 was rather poor in most parts of the country. Because of that just one of the 20 or so dams that I have built spilled, but all of them still have varying amounts of water in them. Some will clearly dry up before the next rainy season.

Progress of existing projects

- Chakupaleza Rural;- This dam is has proved to have a very high capacity, potentially the best so far. Unfortunately due to the poor rains this year it has not yet spilt, so we will not know its true potential capacity until we have a better rainy season. Last year we reinforced it and added half a metre to the height.

- Nkandebwe (Dundu dam);- This dam was completed earlier this year, complete with another smaller dam, about 100 metes down stream of the main dam. It has been fenced to prevent cattle getting in, but sometimes the elephants have broken it, when they come for water. There are not supposed to be any elephants in inhabited areas, but since very little culling has been done since Independence in 1980 these animals have spread all over the country.

- Katete (Vunda dam);- This dam was also finished last year, and has a high capacity.

- Chakupaleza Church;- This dam has been enlarged in the last year since it has proved to have a very large capacity. The enlargement is now complete, since February 2012

- Butindi dam;- This is a new dam, which was started just in February 2012, and already the first three stages have been built, bringing it to a height of 1,8m so far. It is built at the confluence of two small streams, and the flow is good at that point. At present the local community have no dam at all, so the cattle suffer very much. Butindi is about 25 km from the mission, and about 15 km from Hwange.



The Future

- There is a need to start a new dam at Nkandebwe;- The community of Nkandebwe are still very much in need of another dam and in March or this year I went with some of the elders there to identify a suitable site. We located one which is supplied by a fairly large stream, but
it is having very little silt. A suitable dam could be built as far as I can see, but I have asked them to clear the site so that we can check with a theodolite the topography, so see what capacity a potential dam would have. I estimate a dam around 4,8m high could be built, about 60 metres long.

- We need a 7-ton truck;- I mentioned three years ago that our biggest truck is a 6-tonner, and is by now 19 years old, with about 450,000 Km on the clock. It has done a great service for us, but with the amount of servicing it now needs it is not economic to keep it running. Trucks can be bought cheaply from countries like Japan, and the main expense is then the transport. If all goes well next month I will be getting a new assistant priest- I have not had an assistant for over 2 years - so I will ask him to see on the web what is available and what is the price.


May God bless you all,
Fr. Tim Peacock,
St. John's Mission, PO Box 39, Hwange, Zimbabwe