SOME enterprising water barons are making a killing out of desperate Chitungwiza residents, as the water crisis in the dormitory town has reached alarming levels.
There has been no running water in most houses for years whilst alternative water sources have run dry.
Chitungwiza residents are now buying the precious commodity from water barons.
The water barons have access to borehole water which they are selling at a premium to desperate residents.
Investigations show that most water barons are selling the product for as much as $US7 per 1000 litres for bulk buyers while small scale users are parting with $US1 for six buckets (120 litres).
Taking advantage of the residents, who are getting more desperate by each passing day, some water dealers are raking in as much as $US100 per day.
Those privileged enough to have boreholes at their houses are also cashing in on Chitungwiza’s perennial water crises as they are selling two buckets for a minimum of 15 ZWL.
Memory Shamu, a 45 year-old resident of Zengeza 5, revealed her daily ordeal.
“Firstly, you have to wake up as early as 5 am for you to access water at those houses that have boreholes,” Shamu said.
“We are a family of six and we need at least eight buckets a day, meaning we have to fork out about $US1 a day for water.
“That translates to over $US20 per month and we are struggling to afford that,” she said.
Another resident in Manyame Park, Stanley Nyoni, said he has to wait for the deliveries every day from suppliers whom he accused of milking the residents.
“We have trucks that deliver water at our doorsteps but it comes at a huge cost,” said Nyoni.
“Some charge us at least $US6 (600 ZWL) for 1000 litres of water while some are charging as high as $US8 (800 ZWL),” added Nyoni.
A water baron who declined to be named had this to say: “People should understand that we also incur costs when supplying water.
“We are buying fuel using foreign currency and we have to service the trucks,” he said.
Meanwhile, the newly appointed Harare Provincial Development Coordinator (PDC), Tafadzwa Muguti, revealed that central government was taking over the construction of Muda Dam, which is earmarked to supply water to Chitungwiza, which now has a population of over a million people.