Water for sale as municipality runs dry

The current dry spell has seen a proliferation of companies and individuals selling water in the capital.

People queue for water at boreholes, many of which are drying up across the city.
People queue for water at boreholes, many of which are drying up across the city.

Harare metropolitan province is struggling to provide water for its growing population and only those with the resources to purchase water, or the stamina to trek to one of the boreholes drilled by NGOs such as UNICEF, are able to access safe water.

Residents of Ruwa, just outside Harare, who are now accustomed to trucks selling water in the streets, said that their local council was failing them.

"Most of the people here have boreholes or wells because the town of Ruwa has been failing to provide us with water. However, the boreholes have run dry and we have to buy water now," said Obert Ndarutsa.

Water is being sold for roughly $40 for 5000 litres, but the price differs depending on the area and how desperate the residents are. Questions have been raised as to whether the water is safe for drinking.

An official from Infinity Borehole Bulk Water Supply for Domestic and Industrial Purpose said that their water was safe and came from boreholes.

"Our water is 100 percent from boreholes, we do not add tap water as some people allege," he said.

Ruwa Town Council Chairperson Phineas Mushayavanhu said that the water situation in Ruwa was dire. “Our major dam has run dry and what is left is mud,” said Mushayavanhu.

The short term solution to the water woes, according to Mushayavanhu, is to drill more boreholes, but in the longer term a new dam is required. The project to draw water from Nora Valley Dam is almost complete and would ease the water shortages in the town considerably.

However, as the dry weather continues, residents fear a disease outbreak similar to the cholera epidemic of 2009.

Post published in: News

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