BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
VILLAGERS in Lupane, Matabeleland North, are walking several kilometres to access water as most boreholes in the area have dried up in the face of the devastating drought that has decimated wildlife and livestock.
The El Nino-induced drought has left millions facing hunger in the country, while dams and other water sources have dried up due to searing temperatures.
Kusile Rural District Council chief executive officer Christopher Chuma told Southern Eye that the situation was now so dire that in Matabeleland North, 405 boreholes have dried up.
Chuma said the functional boreholes also face constant breakdowns.
“Boreholes are drying up in the area. About 405 of the boreholes have dried up, while those with water face constant breakdowns,” Chuma said.
“People are resorting to streams and other unsafe water sources which they share with livestock. In Gomoza and Nzalikhwa, the situation is really bad, and, unfortunately, we have tried to drill boreholes there, but (they yielded nothing). People are now forced to travel over 20 kilometres in search of water.”
Over 500 cattle have died in Matabeleland South alone, while the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority has also reported deaths of over 200 elephants due to thirst.
However, the Meteorological Services Department (MSD) yesterday warned of widespread thunderstorms beginning today.
“Widespread thunderstorms are expected in all provinces of the country. Localised heavy downpours cannot be ruled out especially in Matabeleland South, Masvingo and South of Manicaland,” the MSD said in a statement.
“In case of severe thunderstorms, do not seek shelter under a tree or in isolated sheds as these are prone to lightning strikes. Gusty winds may pose danger and blow off insecure roofs and classroom blocks and homes.”