MARGARET (not her real name) carries a twenty-litre tin as she approaches a borehole which is about two kilometres from her house in Unit A, Chitungwiza.
Report by Tawanda Marwizi
As she gets to the borehole there come “Good Samaritans” driving a tattered Mazda B1800 pick-up truck telling her to pay two dollars so that they may take her home with the twenty-litre tin.
Most people are taking advantage of water woes to charge residents varying amounts of money to transport their containers to their residences.
NewsDay managed to visit residential areas in Chitungwiza and Mabvuku, where people are paying for transport for them to get water from boreholes which are a distance away.
“We have no option, but to pay because I cannot let my children travel such long distances to fetch water,” said Anna Mutomi from Unit A, Chitungwiza.
Another woman from the same area said they found it difficult to fetch water from long distances because some of them have chronic diseases.
“I am asthmatic, so I can’t carry a tin from the borehole to my house. Sometimes Nicholas Zakaria (popular musician) helps us with his car to fetch the water,” a woman who identified herself as Mary Mutonza said. Jackson Nyandoro, who owns a Mazda pick-up truck said he was earning a living from transporting water to people’s houses in Mabvuku.
“I use my car to carry material for my workshop, but these days I have suspended that for this new business. We charge them two dollars per head depending on the volume of water they have,” said Nyandoro.
He said they could get a maximum of fifty dollars per week, but denied that they were short-changing people.
“We can get $50 per week, but then we charge according to the distance because we also need to repair our cars and buy fuel to transport the water,” he said.
“People who have water sources at their houses charge three dollars per twenty litres. So you find you may end up pumping out a lot of money to fetch water,” said another resident in Mabvuku.
A number of these residents were blaming the city of Harare for all their problems.
Harare City Council spokesperson Lesley Gwindi was reluctant to comment on the matter asking this reporter to go and get a comment from NewsDay.
“Go and get the comment from your paper because I can’t explain this to you. It’s a process,” said Gwindi.