Table Banking Group in Keppure
This summer, we celebrated the completion of five new boreholes in Zaka. The timing couldn’t have been better: Zimbabwe is suffering from its worst drought in 35 years. The villages we serve in Zaka are now among the few in the region with a reliable source of water.
At the same time, we’re aware that as many as 50% of boreholes in sub-Saharan Africa are broken and unusable, many in the first year of operation, due to lack of funds, expertise, and responsibility for maintenance.
Bopoma Villages is committed to developing solutions that are sustainable by local communities. We only provide a borehole for communities that can demonstrate that they are able to take responsibility for maintaining and repairing it.
One way we prepare communities for a borehole is to train them in table banking. Table banking is a group funding strategy in which members meet and save a small amount of money regularly. They then borrow from the pooled funds to meet particular needs or even to start a small income generating project. The money is paid back with interest which is distributed to all members. Table banking allows communities to demonstrate their commitment to taking responsibility for their borehole by collecting enough funds for the first year's maintenance.
Table banking is a win-win: It provides rural villagers with the ability to save for the first time, supports the growth of small business in the community, and serves as a reserve fund to keep village boreholes and bush pumps operational for years to come.
The Keppure Community Garden was relocated near the borehole soon after its installation. The new vegetable beds have kale, artemisia, onions and sweet potatoes.