VILLAGERS from Silobi and Sotshe in Matobo district say there is urgent need for the government to construct more water sources in their area as each village has a single borehole forcing them to walk for about 5km to access the precious liquid.
Zandile Ndlovu said one borehole could not adequately service a whole village as each village was highly populated.
“Our villages are overpopulated and having one borehole in each village makes our lives difficult as we have to wake up as early as 3am to queue for water at the borehole.
“We have been doing this for years now and we wonder for how much longer we will continue doing so,” Ndlovu of Silobi village, said.
“Due to the distance that we travel to access water, we now also make use of water from nearby streams where domestic animals drink.
The water is not clean, but there is nothing we can do.”
Another villager, Thabiso Dladla ,said the water shortage had strained relations among villagers.
“We are not living in peace because of the water woes.
There are elderly people who cannot fetch water for themselves and send children to do so for them,” he said.
“When the children are not readily available to fetch water, the elderly do not understand , resulting in tensions between families.”
Chief Lenati Mathe said he had unsuccessfully engaged several stakeholders in a bid to have more boreholes constructed in the villages.
“I have engaged various stakeholders to assist the villagers and construct more water sources, but to no avail,” he said.
“We have even talked to our MP, but he has done nothing about our problem.
We wish the government could prioritise rural areas because we are faced with a lot of challenges that go unaddressed for a long time.”
In 2011, the government finalised all logistical issues with development partners ahead of a massive borehole rehabilitation programme throughout the country, but due to the uneven distribution of water resources, the Matabeleland region has continued to bear the brunt of the water crisis.