VILLAGERS at Bezha Nyololo in Matabeleland South have accused the government of neglecting them by failing to provide clean water to their community, saying they have been relying on unclean water since independence.
In an interview, village head Johnson Moyo told Southern Eye that the villagers in the area had been using untreated river water, as the government had failed to construct boreholes.
“As villagers of Bezha, we feel the government has failed us as it has failed to provide clean water for us,” he said.
“Since independence, this area has never had boreholes and as a result we have been using untreated river water that comes directly from the rain.
“We have tried to engage the government, but our efforts have been fruitless as nothing has been done.
“We are not sure whether it is because we are in this part of the country or the government is neglecting us.”
Moyo said although they had lost hope of ever getting clean water in the area, they would not stop pushing the government to construct boreholes.
“We have been patient with the government which is fond of making false promises,” he said.
“We are slowly losing hope of ever getting boreholes constructed in our area, but it does not mean we will stop pushing the government because we want our clean water.”
Some villagers, who expressed concern over government’s failure to address their plight, said although they had come to terms with using unclean water, they lived in fear of contracting waterborne diseases.
“We have been living in fear of an outbreak of waterborne diseases, because this water we are using is untreated,” Mbuso Sibindi, a villager, said.
“We fetch water from dams where people bathe and wash their clothes and were our cattle drink.”
Another villager, Sitholakele Sibanda, said the government should take the villagers’ concerns seriously, as they have been left stranded during the years when the country would receive minimal rainfall.
“The government has to take us seriously because over the years we have struggled to survive when water levels in the dam are low due to low rainfall,” she said.
“This situation is really making our lives miserable and we want it to be addressed.”