In a bid to deal with issues of gender based violence and inequitable access to water perpetrated by “water barons” at boreholes, women in Mabvuku have come up with mechanisms that are enabling fair access to water for domestic purposes.
A group of twelve women led by a 65year old Mrs Mundora came up with a regulated timetable and “policy” not to allow water barons to access water at boreholes. to improve water accessibility in their community. The system is organised in such a way that each household accesses 125 litres of water per day.
Mrs Mundora said, “Since 2015 women, senior citizens and people living with chronic diseases were not able to access water safely, abuse, violence and hate speech from water barons at boreholes were the order of the day”.
Mrs Mundora went on to explain that she was once beaten and other several women borehole in Shashe Crescent by a well-known man but no arrests were made. This has been the main driving factor that lead to the start of their initiative leading to an organised local solution that minimises gender based violence.
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report, “about 1 in 3 women aged 15 to 49 have experienced physical violence and about 1 in 4 women have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15”.
Women and girls in most high density suburbs, bear the brunt of abuse at boreholes.
Since the ban of water barons and coming up with the timetable and women can now access water freely without any fear of abuse. The use of regulated timetable has promoted water conservation method as residents now use water sparingly waiting for their turn.
CHRA reiterate that water solutions are found from the residents and local solutions are effective in addressing local water problems.
We implore the City of Harare and the government to expedite its long term solutions through community engagement to end the water woes in Mabvuku-Tafara.
Source: Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)