by Linketsang Moyo
MORE than 300 families in Nyele Ward 4, Bulilima district, in Matabeleland South are facing serious water shortages, a situation which prompts them to fetch dirty water for domestic use from a local dam, Plumtree Development Trust reported.
A single borehole, drilled to serve the whole village is currently broken down. During an outreach visit this week, villagers told
Plumtree Development Trust (PDT) that water shortage is one of the perennial issues which affect them.
In the midst of the crisis, villagers are forced to share dam water with livestock. One of the villagers, Benjamin Dube said:
“The water is unsafe but we have no option.
The dam is the only available water sources in this area,” said Dube who appealed to the local authority, the Bulilima Rural District Council to drill more boreholes in the area.
There are unconfirmed reports that some people in the area have succumbed to bilharzia as a result of drinking the unsafe water. The Bulilima Rural District Council social services department on health was not available to comment on the matter at the time of publishing this article.
Villagers currently use water guard to treat water from the dam but the chemical is not easily accessible as it is occasionally distributed by development partners working in the area.
Due to shortage of rainfall this year, the dam is on the verge of drying up further adding to the woes of the villagers.
Access to water remains one of the critical issues in both Bulilima and Mangwe – which the local authorities have not addressed to the satisfaction of villagers.
Villagers said there is urgent need for the local authority to upscale its efforts in providing safe water sources to the community.