By Marcus Matambirofa
The water situation in Chitungwiza is posing a danger especially to the residence of Zengeza 4 (Chitungwiza) some of whom are now resorting to unprotected wells as they cannot cope with the long and winding queues at the few available public wells.
What is making the situation worse is that the few boreholes drilled with funding from UNICEF are failing to meet the huge demand from residents.
There is always a long queue at the various boreholes which is resulting in some people especially women and children having to wake up as early as 01:00 am just to stand a chance to draw water.
The water situation has also resulted in some unscrupulous people taking charge of the watering points calling themselves “guardians of the boreholes” where they are selling water to those who are not able to wake up early to stand in the long queues for themselves.
A company called Gungwa Nyarara which is located in Zengeza 4 and has a borehole called at its premises has also ventured into the business of selling water to desperate residents.
Gungwa Nyarara is charging ZW$1 cash for a 20-litre bucket of water while those with Ecocash have to fork out ZW$1.30 for the same quantity.
Those who cannot afford to part company with money are the ones who are having to endure the long queues at the public boreholes where they have to also do with the bullying “guardians of the boreholes.”
The company (Gungwa Nyarara) said they are using a 7000-litre tank to supply people with water and they fill it using a generator-powered pump due to power cuts and they fill it every three hours.
Asked how on many litres of water they sell to the people an official from the company said he could not give a number but only said: “I don’t really know but they are many litres”.
A resident from Zengeza 4 who only identified himself as Mahwenyiwo said he started living in Chitungwiza in 1998 adding that by then water supply was reliable and that the situation only started to change in 2002.
Mahwenyiwo said when he saw that there was no solution to the water crisis in Chitungwiza his family dug a well which eventually dried up as neighbours were constantly coming to ask for water.
He said his family now relies on purchasing water for their daily household activities.
However, with prices of goods and services going up on a daily basis, this poses a threat to those who are currently buying water.
With the water crisis worsening due to dropping water levels at Lake Chivero, Chitungwiza Municipality need to come up interventions as a matter or urgent.
Some of the interventions can include the following:
1 increase water supplies to the residence through bowsers and tanks
2 Repair all non-working borehole as well as drilling new ones in the town to increase water supply as the population has increased over the years.
3 Prioritise construction of Muda Dam and a water treatment plant as part of a long term solution to the crisis–