By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Masvingo – Women and children are being sexually violated at water sources, Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe has said.
The country is faced with water shortages and this largely affects women who take care of chores in households.
Women have to get up as early as 4am to queue at water points in their communities as the council has failed to provide running water.
The sixth goal of the SDG’s stipulates that water is of vital importance and a basic right.
Section 77 of the Constitution also agrees with this.
Beauty Chikutura the Chairperson of the Health Cluster for Women’s Coalition Zimbabwe said that children are being raped as they go to fetch water at the boreholes.
She was speaking at the Parliamentary Portfolio on Human Rights that was held at Mucheke Hall.
“Water has been a problem in the community, we are seeing ourselves working up late at night having to fill up buckets and that is if the water comes back. We might go for week without water and have to go to fetch water from the borehole, this has led to our daughters being raped as they travel late to fetch water,” she said.
One Elizabeth Mpofu expressed her disappointment in the local authorities who were raising water bills yet failing to fix the water shortages.
“Lot of the locations in the City are dry but water bills are high and one wonders why it is so yet we hardly get water. Even if we send complains, those in authority seem not to do anything about it as the bills are not deducting rather I think they are working with estimates. Water bills and the amount of water we are getting should tally.”
Apart from sexual abuse at water sources, water shortages also cause diseases like cholera and typhoid.
One lady from ward six said that shortage of water has forced them to fetch water from condemned boreholes which will result in the outbreak of water-borne diseases.
She went on to suggest that the City Council resort to using solar power to run the water treatment stations.
Another identified as Spiwe Mabhiza added that lack of water in health institutions and prisons will cause an outbreak of diseases.