Some unscrupulous suppliers of water who use bowsers have been accused of preying on vulnerable women demanding sex in return for water in Mabvuku.
The allegations were presented by various women during a Water Dialogue Forum organised by the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA), Community Water Alliance and Law Southern Africa.
According to some of the victims the perpetrators include the drivers and volunteers of water bowsers.
“They openly asked for sex in order to supply us with water, we refused and (they) are no longer supplying our section with water”, said an angry woman.
Other women who attended the forum lamented that there has been unfairness in the distribution of water by mobile water bowsers in Mabvuku due to favoritism mainly anchored on sextortion and selling of the water to desperate water seekers.
According to CHRA, “the water situation has not spared even the young women who are succumbing to the demands of the volunteer workers distributing water”.
“The water distribution has increased vulnerabilities among women as they come as late as 7pm distributing water in Mabvuku”, it added.
A Mabvuku Police Victim Friendly Unit representative Sergeant Dube, told participants to report any, ” form of violence against women and girls….to the police.”
Speaking at the same forum the Member of Parliament for Mabvuku-Tafara constituency James Chidhakwa called on for immediate action on the issue.
”We need an urgent meeting with the District Officer because he is in charge of these water suppliers, last time I tried to engage one of the water supplier but I was told that I was interfering and seeking relevance”, said Chidhakwa.
Councilor Wutaunashe of Ward 46 also bemoaned the incapacitation at Harare City Council that has been a barrier to a water project that is set to benefit the Mabvuku-Tafara Constituency.
“The water supply challenges in our area has had serious implications on our people, however there is a partner who want to rehabilitate 36 boreholes and sink four more boreholes in Mabvuku –Tafara”.
“(However) City Officials has not been forthcoming in writing a report on the needs, which is required by the partner and if the papers are not done by Friday this week the partner will pull out”, he said.
Some sections of Mabvuku have not had piped water for decades and most residents rely on open wells and boreholes.
Mabvuku and Tafara has experienced water challenges for several years owing to old pipes and steep gradient, making it difficult for water to be pumped to the area.
This has ultimately increased the risk of water borne diseases such as typhoid.