19 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Hurungwe Families Use Unsafe Drinking Water

More than 200 resettled Hurungwe families are sharing unsafe drinking water with livestock at Tavoy Estates. This follows the vandalism of the 15 boreholes that were serving the area. Elephant Dam has become the major source of water for drinking, dipping livestock, irrigation and washing with some villagers also fishing from the same source. Tavoy headman Mr Reuben Sibanda said the lack of safe water in the area was a health time bomb. He said the only borehole that had remained functional broke down eight months ago.

"People are sharing water with cattle, school children and we also fish from the same dam. This is not healthy. People are getting sick with diarrhoea," he said.

Mr Sibanda said people in the area were failing to access water treatment tablets as these were only available in Karoi.

"One has to go to Karoi town to buy the treatment chemicals and only a few families can afford to buy. People are just drinking raw water and we are afraid of diseases especially now as the rainy season has begun," he said.

Mr Sibanda said he had approached the District Development Fund office on several occasions concerning the rehabilitation of the dams but nothing had materialised. DDF, according to the headman, could not repair the boreholes citing lack of resources.

"We have tried engaging NGOs but they said they only cater for communal areas and not resettlement areas," he said.

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