Ellen Chasokela Herald Reporter
It is a hot November day in Glen View 1 and Ambuya Sipiwe Pfumojena (63) has been sitting under a tree for three hours while her grandson (3) plays close by as she keeps a watchful eye on the queue leading to a borehole sunk by the District Development Fund while awaiting her turn.
Ambuya Pfumojena has to travel for about three kilometres daily to get to the borehole, something she has done for the past three weeks since it was sunk.
Previously, she used to draw water from a borehole near her house, but it has since been taken over by a cartel of youths that are now charging residents $4 each to access water.
“I could not afford to pay the $4 that was being demanded daily, so I was happy that the DDF has come to our rescue because we were being subjected to daylight robbery,” said Ambuya Pfumojena.
“We hope that DDF will continue to drill more boreholes in our area to reduce the time we spent at boreholes because since the new borehole started functioning we were spending close to eight hours in the queue.”
Ambuya Pfumojena’s situation is similar to most people in Harare, especially those in high density suburbs, who have had to spend hours on end fetching water as the Harare City Council continues to provide inadequate water supplies to residents.
The serious water shortages has resulted in some residents selling water to those who do not have access to it.
Just like Ambuya Pfumojena, other residents are grateful to the DDF for its timely intervention.
The Government entity has since indicated that it has a target to sink 60 boreholes in Harare Metropolitan.
Mrs Matinetsa Chirenje said they will welcome more boreholes, which will lessen the time waiting to fetch water.
“If we have more of these boreholes then our problem will be over as we would not be queuing here for a long time,’’ she said.
Another resident, Mrs Bridget Guruwo said she had resorted to doing her laundry at a nearby stream.
“I have four children and I cannot afford to keep their laundry for more than a week so I was now going to the stream, but now we have a borehole closer to us.
“I am grateful to DDF for drilling boreholes since it now takes me about an hour to fetch water whereas it used to take more than five hours. The boreholes have brought so much relief to the community.’’
DDF director for water supplies and maintenance, Mr Edwin Toriro said they started the project in July with a target of 15 boreholes with an online chlorination system.
“To date we have drilled 11,” he said.
“The next phase of the project is to complete the four outstanding ones. We have installed the online chlorination system because there have been arguments in various sectors that borehole water is contaminated so we have now tried to abate that and have the online chlorination system
“We are in Glen View because we are trying to address cholera concerns. You are aware that in 2008 this area and Budiriro were the epicentres of the cholera outbreak, so Government tasked us to intervene.”
Mr Toriro explained how the online chlorination system works.
“As the water is being pumped up, it passes through the various vessels which contains the chlorine tablets which get dissolved and then the water is pushed out of the discharge unit and that moment the water is already chlorinated, we have already taken care of the pathogens that cause water-borne diseases.’’
Apart from the intervention, Government is also working with the Harare City Council to ensure that the water situation is attended to.
President Mnangagwa early this month helped hammer out the outline of a programme to improve the treatment and supply of water in the Harare area within six months.
This was after he toured Morton Jaffray Water Works.