By Sydney Gokomere
Gweru, October 12, 2016 – AS the hot season persists with soaring temperatures experienced for long, some enterprising but cheeky vendors at Gweru’s main long distance bus terminus are now in the practice of selling cold water which they fetch from the busy terminus’s public toilets to unsuspecting travellers.
The practice has raised fears of a disease outbreak as public toilets at the Kudzanai Bus Terminus are always filthy.
The vendors are also bottling the water in used empty plastic bottles before cooling it in preparation for sale.
A snap survey by RadioVOP at the terminus witnessed vendors with empty used plastic water containers measuring 500 ml bottling the water which they fetched from the public toilets at the bus station.
One vendor who only identified himself as Solo said he understood the legal and health risks associated with his activities but pointed out that he had no choice but to make a living.
“The economic situation is bad my brother and I have to employ every means possible to make sure that I survive,” he said.
“I try by all means to wash the used empty water containers I pick after being thrown away by people.”
The toilets at the bus station are known for emitting pungent smell as council workers do not thoroughly clean them.
A 33 year old woman, Kudzai Gumbo who sells vegetables at Kudzanai said the practice by vendors has been going on for some time with the water being sold to travellers particularly those going to rural
Gumbo said the vendors were taking advantage of the scotching heat as people jostle to buy cold water unsuspecting of its source.
Bottled water from reputable companies is sold at 50 cents while the vendors sell their at between 20 and 50 cents depending on the sources.
A senior official in the department of health, Christopher Ruwodo warned travellers against buying bottled water from vendors saying they risked contracting diseases.
“Besides the source of the water there is also the issue of used empty bottles being used and people should just desist from buying this water for the sake of their health,” he said.
“What these vendors are doing is illegal and our municipal police would soon descend on them.”