By Zwelethu Zikhali
Binga, November 14, 2016 – PRIVATE motorists and business people in this poor Matabeleland North district are cashing in on desperate residents of Binga Centre who they are charging $1 per 20 litre container to carry water from the Zambezi River.
Binga has been without electricity for the past three weeks following to a broken down transformer in Hwange.
This has affected the pumping of water into the area by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), forcing residents to rely on untreated water from the crocodile infested Zambezi River.
This has also left residents in danger of contracting waterborne diseases as many have also resorted to bush toilets due to the shortage of the precious liquid.
“We have for the past two weeks been fetching water from the river but the challenge is that we can’t fetch from any point. So we have to go to the Croc Farm which is about 8km and we rely on those with cars and they are charging us $1 per 20 litre bucket,” said one Judith Mpofu from Govera suburb.
Also affected are expecting mothers at the local hospital who also have to buy the necessity as Binga District hospital has no alternative source of water.
“We are now used to spending the whole day with only one bucket of water. We give those with trucks out containers and they bring us water which they charge us $1 for a container,” said an expecting woman who is camped at the hospital.
Faith Mudenda, who has a bandaged right ankle, said she fractured her leg while trying to load a water container of water into a truck.
Because of depleting water levels, residents have to go deeper down the river bank risking attack by crocodiles.
There are no boreholes at Binga Centre because of the location which makes it difficult to drill one and the only alternative source of water for residents is the Zambezi River.
Binga Rural District Council chief executive officer, Joshua Muzamba said it was by God’s grace that no one had been attacked by crocodiles.
“Residents are facing a critical situation as they risk being attacked by diseases and predators such as crocodiles. Fortunately no one has been attacked and we need to engage Zinwa for a possible solution to the crisis,” he said.