A drought spell in southern Africa has aggravated access to water in most areas of Zimbabwe, while negatively impacting on other sectors of the economy.
This comes as residents of the second largest city in Zimbabwe have been queuing to fetch water at a communal tap for the past decade.
One of the causes why some of the residence of Bulawayo have not been accessing tap water is as a result of a fault at a water pipe that connects to the residential area being out of use.
The United Nations International Panel on Climate confirmed that southern Africa as an area was vulnerable to droughts due to high heat as the planet’s temperature constantly rises.
The taps have run dry for a long period and the expectance to once again fetch water at taps is gloomy.
One of the residence of Cowdray Park in Bulawayo Sikhathele Ndlovu bemoaned the water crisis at hand as she is now used to draw water from wells and boreholes.
“Nothing comes from the pipes to our homes now,” said Ndlovu
“Open the tap and not even a drip.” added Ndlovu.
Ndlovu, further added that although she is facing continuous life threatening issues beyond her control she has adapted to the situation at hand.
“Life here goes backwards. First there was no water, now there’s usually no electricity. That’s our life now.” added Ndlovu.
In some of the areas which have access to tap water, it is being rationed by the authorities, a move that is meant save water for the months to follow due to the decrease in water levels in dams.
Simela Dube, the council director of engineering services, reinforced the idea behind water rationing as the authorities are aiming towards reducing consumption of water to about 20% per day.
“We’re hoping that by rationing, people will adjust so that we can continue supplying water,” noted Dube.
Tich Zinyemba who is the head of public weather service at Zimbabwe’s Meteorological Service Department, noted that the drought spell that Zimbabwe and southern African at large is experiencing is attributed to climate change.
“Some of the things which we are seeing now such as prolonged droughts, dry spells are as a result of climate change.” highlighted Zinyemba.
“Climate change does not see boundaries or borders,” said Zinyemba.
“We’re hoping that by rationing, people will adjust so that we can continue supplying water,” said Dube.
One of the residents of Bulawayo Jessica Moyo, said that Zimbabwe has been taken aback, as unemployment rate lingers above 90%.
“We are back in the olden days, but now it’s worse because everyone’s broke,” said Moyo.
Moyo noted that in her family not a single person is formally employed, the family earn a living through selling perishables within the vicinity of city.
“Not one person in my family has a job. We live hand-to-mouth selling some tomatoes and cabbages.” added Moyo.
Mercy Ncube, the city’s engineer of Bulawayo said an estimated $522 million Zimbabwean dollars is required to repair the water infrastructure.
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.