Residents in Bulawayo have bemoaned the state of boreholes which serve as an alternative source of water at a time when the city is faced with a serious water crisis.
The Bulawayo City Council (BCC), Wednesday, announced that they will be increasing the water-shedding schedule from 48 hours to 72 hours.
Town Clerk Christopher Dube said currently 37 boreholes are not functioning and they have engaged a private company on a short contract to repair them.
Speaking to CITE in separate interviews, residents raised several concerns over the limited number of boreholes in various areas which result in water shortages.
Nozithelo Dlamini said there is too much pressure at boreholes and some end up going back to their homes without water.
“There are limited boreholes, some are not working so people end up walking long distances in search of water. From time to time we run out of water to flush toilets. The economic situation is not making things easier either, we survive on growing vegetables but when these boreholes are swamped with people from all over we fail to get water to irrigate our gardens,” she said.
Another resident, Racheal Dlamini said that borehole water is too bitter and is not good for drinking.
She, however, said the boreholes are convenient as they provide water for cooking, cleaning, bathing and doing laundry.
“The worst part is when there are too many people getting water from here the borehole gets broken. Just recently we spent a little over a month without it and we had to walk long distances to other boreholes to get the water,” she said.
Esnath Nkomo a 61-year-old who has vegetable gardens in her backyard said her borehole has been broken for a while now, a situation that has affected her business.
“Lately I have been paying ZW$50 at the shops close by because they have an electrical pump. However due to the unending water woes, some residents keep going there to get water and at the end of the day I lose out,” said Nkomo.
Nkomo said she resorted to going to a borehole close to St Columbus High School to fetch water but because the distance is long, she has downscaled her business.
She said people from the city council came several days ago to check on the borehole close to her house and promised to repair it.
“We hope they (city council) come early enough to fix the borehole. They need to at least drill more boreholes because the ones we have now cannot sustain everyone. People stay up to around midnight queuing for water and within a short space of time they would have broken it again,” she said.