by Providence Moyo, Yollander Millin & Providence Moyo
Having gone for almost a year now without running water, Magwegwe residents still find themselves faced with the same plight in 2021. Some of the community areas for instance Emaflethini have gone for months yet other parts that include ama 28 and 27 have gone for weeks without water. Their neighboring community, Number 6 shares the same predicament with some parts having close to 10 years without water. The local authority is aware of the situation but nothing has been done to address the water challenges. This is despite the fact that acute water shortages especially in high-density areas ex[pose residents to water-borne diseases like cholera and typhoid since residents might resort to unsafe alternative sources of water. This also increases the burden of unpaid care work for women who, because of their gendered roles are expected by society to fetch water. The Magwegwe water crisis must be treated as a matter of urgency and be addressed by Bulawayo City Council.
Meanwhile, Bulawayo Ward 3 residents have recently expressed concern over the loss of clean water due to increased pipe bursts. The pipes that have begun bursting were installed more than 20years ago and are now rotting, causing the loss of the much-needed clean water. Bulawayo city council has indicated that it has no capacity to replace the pipes at the moment, and will do its best given the circumstances. The ward is currently under a strict water rationing timetable that has the area experiencing up to 4 days a week without access to tap water. This rationing system was put in place after the Tuli reservoir developed complications that will require the purchase of machinery components from the foreign markets, which as has been discovered may take longer to achieve as the city council’s financial health welfare is currently wanting.
In other news, the Luveve community who fell victim to the water crisis that Bulawayo faced last year, is calling for interventions by different stakeholders. These residents say even though it is more than a year since they faced this challenge, the consequences are likely to last forever as some of the survivors of the water crisis have not fully recovered and others have been left with certain disabilities. Last year in May, Luveve community lost 13 people that included 9 children due to unsafe and unclean water that they drank from their taps.