Bulawayo women narrate struggles of accessing water

Women in Pumula, Magwegwe and Barbourfields suburbs, who have to walk long distances daily to fetch water are at risk of a threat to their safety as they have to pass through dense thickets before dawn and stand in long winding queues in search for water.

Some of the local women say they have not received running water from their taps in a while and have to travel long distances as there are no alternative water sources nearby.

Mrs Patronela Dlomo a resident from Pumula South told In Focus News that she has to wake up in the early hours of the morning suggesting that it is not safe especially for women who are an easy target for rape.

“l have to wake up at 3 am to queue for water and our nearest borehole is far but we do not have a choice because we need the water,” said Mrs Dlomo. “It is not safe for us women because a lot of crimes take place during that time.

“We would have left our children at home which is not safe for them too,” she added.

Another resident from Barbourfields Miss Nyaradzo Bakari concurred by stating that water bowsers do not cater for all residents which leads to them spending most of their productive hours waiting in queues.

“We are pleading with the council to give us more bowsers and water kiosks as the situation is becoming unbearable for families,” added Bakari.

Bulawayo City Council has installed ten water tank kiosks in a bid to ease the water situation with another 25 anticipated water tank kiosks to be installed in Pumula, Nkulumane, Emganwini and other suburbs.

In an interview with In Focus News, Honorable Sichelesile Mahlangu, Member of Parliament for Pumula Constituency revealed that the community engaged relevant authorities to address the matter.

“l think that this matter now needs government intervention that might even attract donors to come and help Bulawayo,” said Honourable Mahlangu.

“We talked to the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement Minister Perrance Shiri and things at the time looked optimistic, although we have not seen the engineers that we were promised. We are going to go back to the Minister and engage him again so that we can get the help we need.”

Women continue to fetch water during odd hours as they call for government interventions on the improvement of access to water so that their safety is not compromised.

Source: Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD)

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