By Jane Nkiwane
Increasing water scarcity in one of Bulawayo’s oldest and densely populated suburbs named Nguboyenja has turned the lives of women living there into a nightmare. The water shortage has been caused by long periods of water cuts by the city council.
Amakhosikazi media caught up with the local women who expressed how long periods of water shortages have negatively affected their lives.
Zandile Moyo a 15-year-old Sobukhazi student highlighted how water shortages in her area have affected her academic life. “Water shortage is very tough, at times we fail to bath, we are forced to wake up earlier to go and fetch water from the borehole which is a bit far and i end up being late at school. Our uniforms are always dirty. Everything we do needs water. Life without water is hard.”
Sthandazile Moyo a 36-year-old woman from Nguboyenja said that long periods of water shortages paused a health hazard to the community. “Water shortages have affected us as women, because from Tuesday to Sunday there will be no water in our taps, yet we have young children, we need to wash clothes, prepare the kids for school and we also need water to flush our toilets. There are also burst sewers in this area, but there is no water to clean the mess. Some residents have been ill from diarrhoea but the city council is not taking any action.”
Thobile Mabhena another local resident, pleaded with the Council to reduce water rationing days, and also to come up with solutions to curb the water shortage. “Water shortage is a big problem to us, we are asking the city council to reduce water rationing days because our borehole water is very hard, we can hardly drink or use it to bath. The council should also send water bouzers to relieve us from water shortages. We are really begging them because we are facing a hardship. “
The chairperson of Nguboyenja residents association Mr Newman Ndlovu commented on the issue saying that most residents cannot afford to buy water containers, as a result, they resort to collecting water from unhygienic water sources and burst water pipes and this exposes the residents to different water-borne diseases.
According to Ndlovu, the city council should increase water pressure so that water also reaches Nguboyenja location. “It seems we are the only ones suffering, it really troubles us. Water comes once a week, people do not have enough containers to store water to last a week, residents end up collecting water from leaking water pipes and from unprotected water sources. Since they use the water for domestic purposes, it poses a danger to their health and they risk getting diseases like cholera, typhoid, diarrhoea. To curb all these effects the water issue really needs to be addressed” he added.