Emmanuel Hove Mhike
Zvishavane rural residents have expressed concern over the lack of proper water facilities in the district. This has forced them to use the unsafe and contaminated rivers, dams, and stream water, which health experts have described as a disastrous situation that will see the entire community battling against water-borne diseases.
In an interview with this publication, concerned resident, Dickson Mushayi of Mtomba village, Ward 16 said the situation demands immediate attention as the alternative water sources are not safe for drinking.
“The water problem here demands immediate attention because people are now relying on the unsafe river and dam water. A health hazard is looming in this ward. In my village, our borehole which serves 10 villages is down and there seems to be no immediate solution,” said Mushayi.
Mototi Ward health worker, Wedzerai Makozho bemoaned the lack of proper safe water facilities in her ward and encouraged the central government to treat the borehole drilling initiative as a matter of emergency.
“The state and distribution of our boreholes are worrisome. We have widely spaced boreholes drilled in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Currently, the functional boreholes are not even a quarter of the total number of boreholes we have. Water is essential for basic hygiene, without it we risk emergency of deadly communicable diseases,” said Makozho.
Zvishavane Runde Development Association (ZRDA) Chairperson Philip Chatora said humans should not share drinking water sources with livestock. He also encouraged the drilling of specific boreholes to end clashes.
“The water situation in rural Zvishavane is terrible. It’s not good to see people and livestock cramping for the same water source. To end clashes between schools and Communities over shared boreholes authorities should prioritize drilling boreholes at each school, village, and clinic. As usual at ZRDA we are ready to do complementary work through mobilizing funds,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from Runde Rural District Council were fruitless as the social service department’s contacts were not reachable.
In Mazvihwa, southeast of Zvishavane, people walk an average of 2 km to the nearest borehole. The few functional boreholes are being shared between schools, clinics, and the communities. This has led to clashes.
Access to clean and safe water is a human right. Section 77 of the constitution says everyone has the right to safe, clean, and potable water.