Umzingwane, (Ilanga-New Ziana) –A critical shortage of water has hit Umzingwane district in Matabeleland South province owing to low yields by most boreholes, many of which have also broken down.
Perennial droughts that the province experience have compounded the problem which is leaving villagers and their livestock to travel more 20 kilometres in search of the precious liquid.
Villagers interviewed appealed to the government and human organisations to drill more boreholes that have a higher water yield and are closer to their homesteads.
“The water crisis is giving us a nightmare considering that we wake up around 4 am every morning and walk almost 20 km to and fro to queue for water at the only yielding borehole in the village, said Lazini Mathobela from Tshabambeka village under chief Sinqobile Mabhena area.
“Imagine school children have to perform such chores before going to school, which is also more than 10 km away. When they to school the children will be tired and their concentration is seriously affected,” he said.
Other complained that they were losing their livestock to thieves who pounced on them at water holes which are situated several km from the homesteads.
“We have lost our livestock to cattle thieves who are ambushing the animals at water points, after having studied that these animals will be coming from as far as 20 km away,” said Ian Ngulube from ward 16 under Chief Gwebu.
Local MP Levy Mayihlome is on record in urging communities to scoop silted dams to enable them to enough water for their livestock.