ILLEGAL settlers at Bulawayo’s Ngozi Mine dumpsite were left homeless on Sunday after their pole and dagga shacks were washed away during a storm.
“This is the most painful situation anyone can ever find themselves in,” Sifiso Ndlovu, who has been staying at the slum for the past six months, said.
BY LINDA CHINOBVA
“I thought being a slum dweller was the worst thing I could ever face in life, but sleeping in the open throughout the night because I have nowhere to sleep, is the worst.”
“On Sunday, I and my child were left stranded after the rains destroyed our shack.
“I watched helplessly as my shack was being swept away by the water and my mattress, clothes and blankets were all soaked.”
Another dweller, Simphiwe Ndlovu, who has stayed at the slum for four years, said the rainy season was a nightmare for the slum community.
“The rainy season is the worst period of our lives. For the years, we have stayed here, we dread the rainy season, as it has reduced us to animals that stay in bushes,” she said.
“As it is, the rains destroyed our shacks and we have spent two nights putting up in the open under trees”
“Our bedding was soaked in water and we have been covering ourselves with empty cement bags and plastics, although this is hardly protecting us from the bad weather.”
The disheartened slum dwellers said they could only rebuild after the rains.
Ngozi Mine residents’ chairperson, Albert Ndlovu said it was disappointing that even after pleading with the government to construct houses for the homeless, nothing had been done so far.
“We have pleaded our case for a long time. It is very painful to have a human being experience such inhuman, harsh living conditions,” he said.
“The living conditions at the slum are very unbearable for any human being. All I can say is we hope that one day slums will be a thing of the past.”