BYO Water Crisis Exposes Women to Covid-19

A women’s organisation has implored the central government and local authority to implement short and long term solutions to the perennial water challenges in Bulawayo, citing that women are exposed to Coronavirus as they search for water in their communities. 

Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCOZ), in a statement, bemoaned the dire water situation in the second-largest city as women continue to get water from unsafe sources.  With only three supply dams in use, the residents are forced to endure a 144-hour-water-shedding schedule where they receive running water once a week.

WCOZ slammed the local authority for failing to comply with an April High Court judgment which ordered municipalities to ensure that residents have access to clean and safe water. 

“Our monitoring continues to reveal that the dire situation on water shortages has continued to hit women hard as they are forced to access the water from unsafe sources, exposing them to untold health hazards, including Covid-19,” the statement read. 

“Our networks throughout the country, especially in Bulawayo have reported a lack of sustainable means to access water, due to rationing schemes by Council. While in April, the High Court of Zimbabwe made a ruling on ensuring access to water by residents, there has been little compliance with the judgement. While initiatives such as bowser water delivery only provide temporary relief, such measures are not the panacea to the problem as they are unsustainable in the long run.”

WCOZ recommended that the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, and all local authorities must ensure adequate provision of water, through the implementation of short and long-term strategies.

“We urge the critical need for the rapid escalation of medium- and long-term water solutions as part of the COVID-19 response actions,” read the statement. 

Source: Center for Innovation and Technology (CITE)