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World Water Day: Women shoulder the burden of Zimbabwe’s water crisis, says Action Aid

by Bustop TV News

ActionAid Zimbabwe highlights the plight of women and girls disproportionately affected by the country’s water scarcity. This crisis, worsened by climate change and rapid urbanization, strains limited water resources.

The remarks were made yesterday, as the world marked World Water Day with a focus on “Leveraging Water for Peace”.

The lack of gender-responsive services exposes women to harassment and rights violations while fetching water.

Joy Mabenge, the Country Director of ActionAid Zimbabwe, expressed deep concern over the situation, stating:

“The climate-induced humanitarian crises, compounded by events like El Niño, have severely impacted communities’ ability to secure their livelihoods, especially those reliant on rain-fed agriculture and livestock. Clean water has become a commodity, leaving poor communities deprived of this critical resource.”

“Access to adequate, clean, and safe water is a fundamental human right. The Zimbabwean government, with support from civil society organizations, and ensuring the full participation of all rights holders, should implement measures for the guaranteed provision of water and sanitation facilities. This includes involving every stakeholder in decision-making processes related to water provision,” he said.

Exodus Munkuli, an SRHR activist based in Binga shared the same sentiments with Mabenge.

“In the absence of water, women and girls suffer the most. Water is essential for various aspects of their lives, including menstruation, childbirth, and household chores. The burden of water collection falls disproportionately on women, often in unsafe conditions.”

Caroline Mutimbanyoka, a women’s rights activist and team leader for the Women for Water Movement said:

“Asking for water, a basic right, has become a political statement. Women endure long queues and sometimes face assault to access water, making it a women’s crisis.”

Women, in particular, face heightened risks as they often travel longer distances in search of water, especially in marginalized communities.

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