By Dumisani Nyoni
Bulawayo, November 14, 2016 – UNEMPLOYED youths have seized control of some city boreholes and were now demanding payment from desperate residents seeking to fetch water from them.
This follows the city’s recent imposition of a 48 hour weekly water shedding schedule, later revised to 72 hours, in efforts to save the precious liquid.
Through the crisis, unemployed but rowdy youths have found a source of income through collecting fees from those seeking to fetch water.
The boreholes were sunk by the Bulawayo City Council.
One such site is at Makhandeni high density suburb where some youths were seen demanding payment from those who wanted to fetch water using containers.
Residents said they were being forced to pay between 50 cents and $1 per 20 litre container by youths who have “captured” the boreholes.
“This is very unfair because we know that these boreholes are council property meant to help us in times such as this,” said one resident, identified as MaNkomo.
“We are forced to part with our hard-earned monies because we have no choice. But at the end, I find it better to pay than to die of thirst,” she added.
However, some residents called on the local authority to stop the youths from terrorising them.
“We call upon council authorities to come to our rescue and restore sanity here,” another resident said.
So violent the youths are said to be that one man was attacked the previous week while trying to fetch water and was reportedly fighting for his life at Mpilo Hospital.