Article in ‘De Toren’

The Hardenberg foundation ‘Mpilo Foundation’ was founded on 30 July 2018. Mpilo means ‘life’. Water is life.
Life that depends to a large extent on the accessibility of basic needs. The foundation mainly focuses on Zimbabwe. Almost a third of households have to walk for half an hour to collect water.
Albert and Ellen Nijland returned home last week from four weeks in Zimbabwe, the country where they lived from 1984-1987 and Albert has worked as a tropical doctor. After the joy of getting rid of president Mugabe in November 2017, the disappointment is now great. When President Emmerson Mnangagwa took over from former president Mugabe, he was received with much zeal and hope. Today, the economy is on a free fall, with inflation double figures for the first time since 2009, forcing basic commodities out of reach for many.
That is why it is all the more amazing that the ‘ordinary’ Zimbabwean is still the friendly, peace-loving person of all times. “We have been in villages where children had not seen a white person before … villages where there is no water and no electricity, where women (!) have to walk 4-5 kilometers to get water and then walk back with 20 liters of water in a bucket on their head. Prior to our trip we had soil surveys (for water) planned by a hydrogeologist in 7 villages. We were present during the surveys and all seven surveys were ‘positive’, which means that there is water in the ground. Some surveys indicated the presence of water at 40-50 meters depth and two surveys at 70-90 meters depth. I will not elaborate on the challenges to realize a borehole of 90 meters depth after the rainy season (April / May 2019), but getting the truck -with drilling equipment, in the right place, the drilling itself and the borehole casing with steel pipes (à $ 65 per meter) and the installation of a Zimbabwe Bush Pump are just some of the logistical and financial challenges we want to address. We are in contact with Wilde Ganzen (, capital funds and many other organizations (among others churches, schools) and private individuals seeking financial support.
When we manage to realize 7 boreholes-with-Zimbabwe-Bush-Pump, nearly 7,000 people have access to sufficient and safe water, “says Albert Nijland, former general practitioner in Hardenberg. For more information:

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