Chimanimani runs out water

Residents of the Manicaland town are facing serious water shortages after natural springs in the area dried up.

The shortage has forced the town, which used to have abundant water said to be some of the cleanest in Zimbabwe, to ration the little that is available.

Chimanimani relies on seven springs with an average monthly capacity of 14,000 cubic metres of water – enough for the town’s 120,000 residents.

“Most of these natural water springs have dried up,” said Nehemiah Deure, the town council’s chief executive officer. “The few remaining springs are failing to cope with the increasing water demand and, as result, the town is facing serious water shortages.”

Although Deure cited climate change as the reason for the latest development, the residents attributed the situation to illegal settlers who had moved onto the water catchment areas.

“There is rampant tree cutting and illegal settlers are planting crops on very steep land, which is causing environmental damage. Most of the natural springs that used to supply our town with fresh, delicious water have been destroyed,” said local businessman Hamilton Bruce.

Deure said the council was now planning to draw water from a local river and had invested in a bigger water reservoir.

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