Water Barons Cash In On Shortages

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Water shortages have left many in Zimbabwe's urban settlements vulnerable to abuse

By New Zimbabwe

SOME corrupt individuals are taking advantage of the current water shortages being experienced in most urban councils and have taken control of boreholes where they charge a fee for residents to draw water.

A fact sheet released by the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) at the weekend said the situation was rampant in Chitungwiza and Epworth where cash-strapped residents are being fleeced to get access to water before calling on the police to bring to book the perpetrators.

“Boreholes have been monopolized by some unscrupulous individuals who are extorting residents in order for them to get water,” ZPP said.

Most boreholes in urban areas where sunk by non-governmental organisations.

In Chitungwiza in Zengeza 4, ZPP recorded a truck selling a bucket of water at $1.50. Desperate residents are left with no option but to purchase the water.

“In Epworth Constituency, Ward 2, three youths are manning a borehole and forcing residents to purchase two buckets of water at $1.50,” the peace watcher said adding the extortion was happening in most urban areas.

In Harare, lack of key water treatment chemicals has forced the City Council to halt production at the Morton Jaffray water treatment plant, leaving nearly two million without access to running water.

“The water and sanitation crisis places millions of residents at risk of contracting waterborne diseases. Residents have often resorted to drinking water from shallow, unprotected wells that are contaminated.

“The crisis has brought about issues of extortion, exploitation and school absenteeism. Read more>>

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