Some residents in Nkulumane suburb, Ward 20, say they are made to pay to access water from community boreholes and called on the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to intervene.
Due to serious water shortages, the city is currently under a 144-hour water shedding schedule.
In an interview with CITE, some of the residents noted that there are specific areas in the suburb where water does not reach their homes due to low pressure.
Mncedisi Nyathi, a resident from the area noted that most of the boreholes are broken down and the few functional ones are manned by people who demand payment.
“We have not had any water running from our taps for the past three weeks. Our area is on high ground and the water fails to reach our houses due to low pressure. The boreholes close to us are broken down so we are forced to walk from our homes to the boreholes near Munyoro,” Nyathi said.
“The problem is when we get there the residents chase us away saying we should get water from our area. Some of the boreholes will be manned by residents who demand that we pay a certain amount of money to get water. Due to desperation, we pay them.”
Nyathi noted that although there is a bowser that brings water on Saturdays, it is not consistent and due to the large number of people who need the water, some end up going back home empty-handed.
“Sometimes the bowser comes on Tuesdays and we will be at work. People have resorted to paying at the Munyoro boreholes just so that they can get enough water for cooking and bathing. We hope that the council will intervene so that these people charging us for water desist from such practices. These boreholes should serve the community as a whole,” he said.
Ward 20 councillor, Alderman Earnest Rafamoyo said arrangements are underway for the broken down boreholes to be fixed.
“Council is aware that the boreholes in the area broke down. Two have since been fixed. One is yet to be attended to,” said the councillor.
“In the meantime, there is a bowser that brings water to the area at number 9255. It comes twice a week, on Saturday in the morning and on Tuesday in the afternoon.”