BY KENNETH NYANGANI SHORTAGE of water in the Nyagwande area ward 7 in Nyanga North constituency has forced women and girls to bath in the nearby river, exposing themselves to sexual abuse.
This was revealed by Action Aid Zimbabwe director Joy Mabenge at the weekend while handing over a borehole in Nyagwande area, which was funded by his organisation.
Action Aid Zimbabwe and several partners last week toured Nyanga, where they unveiled various projects aimed at uplifting communities.
Mabenge said the area had had no borehole since 2009, resulting in women having to walk more than 2km to fetch water in neighbouring villages.
“The initiative of drilling boreholes was done with the intention of addressing violence against women and girls, which has been happening here as a result of water shortages,” he said.
“We understand that the borehole in this community stopped working in 2009, and since then, it has been a struggle for the community, especially women and girls, to access water as they had to walk for more than 2km to access the nearest water point at a nearby village.
“We learnt that the women had to pay five rand to get water, which was too expensive for them due to the economic challenges being faced by many Zimbabweans.
The task of fetching water also exposed women and girls to violence as they had to wake up early and travel in the dark, increasing their vulnerability to gender-based violence.”
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Mabenge added: “The workload for women was unbearable, and one woman narrated how she experienced violence as she persuaded her husband to bath with her in the river to protect her, and her husband lashed at her. Drilling of the boreholes will promote gender equality and reduce violence.”
ActionAid and its partners also unveiled three other projects in Nyanga North.
These include a solarised borehole, a community nutrition garden and a school toilet.
They are also constructing the Nyangowe footbridge in ward 8, which is set to benefit an estimated 400 households and schoolchildren.
- Follow Kenneth on Twitter @KennethNyangan1