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Water Shortages Persist in Zimbabwe's Cities, Towns

  • Tatenda Gumbo

Thousands of Zimbabweans in major towns and cities have gone for months without water due to crippling rationing measures by local authorities and poor infrastructure.

In Bulawayo, the second-largest city, the situation has remained critical since earlier this year when the local council introduced measures that deprive residents for up to 48 hours.

Residents have expressed concern, fearing outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea.

Bulawayo Progressive Resident Association (BUPRA) Information Manager Zibusiso Dube told VOA that the city council's water-rationing schedule is frustrating.

"In some instances the city has been failing abide by the water-shedding time table that is sent out to people," said Dube

The capital, Harare, has not been spared. Residential areas including Glenview, Highfield, Hatcliff and Kuwadzana Phase 3 have at times gone for months without running water.

Harare Residents Trust Coordinator Precious Shumba says the situation in the city, which lost thousands of residents in a 2008 cholera outbreak, is dire.

"These areas experience eratic supplies, people are spending the whole night queuing for water, some of the areas are even without adequate representation in city council," said Shumba.

Local councils have come under fire from residents for poor service delivery, especially in the refuse, water and sanitation.