FRANCISTOWN: Numerous villages in the Central District are suffering from acute water shortage resulting in some desperate residents collecting ‘contaminated’ water from boreholes, ponds and streams as a measure to alleviate challenges.
Mmegi has learnt that villages such as Tutume, Matobo, Goshwe and surrounding areas have not been receiving potable water supply over the last four months.
Matobo-Goshwe councillor, Milikani Tshupeng, told Mmegi that currently people in Matobo village are reeling in a water crisis making life difficult for the inhabitants.
He said that the situation is even worse in Ntogwe ward as people there have been experiencing shortage of water for more than two years.
He added that residents in Matobo have been experiencing a water crisis since August last year.
Tshupeng said that what worries him is that a tank that was constructed to aid in the situation is not functioning at the moment because the water storage is not yet disinfected.
He said that people are risking because they fetch water from ponds, rivers and boreholes as alternative, which would pose a health risk to them.
Tshupeng also said: “The people’s lives are imperilled because they have to drink dirty water from the rivers. They also use the same water to cook and bath”.
He added that some of the villagers have taken advantage of the situation by selling water to the elderly who cannot carry water over long distances.
Tshupeng said that they charge 25 litres per container at P10 and P50 for the 200-litre containers.
He also said that taking a proper bath has become a luxury for people in the village.
He added: “I pray to God that Coronavirus does not find its way to us because if the disease affects anyone from this villages, we will perish”.
He pleaded with the relevant stakeholders to come up with solutions, which can address the water crisis in their area.
Timbi ward chief in Tutume village, Morgan Kenalemang said that the situation of water scarcity in their area is getting out of control.
He said to make the situation worse, the
He said: “Some of the villagers who cannot buy water are, in this situation, forced to drink contaminated water from the river and boreholes. Our lives are in great danger because drinking unclean water can lead to diarrhoea and vomiting”.
Kenalemang said that some people harvest rainwater so that they can be able to bath, cook and drink, but unfortunately, it runs out quickly.
A farmer from Matobo village, Victor Malumbela said that their village has been hit by a shortage of water since last year.
He said that the situation is worse in the afternoon as their water supplies would be dry and the water would only come during the wee hours at around 1am.
Malumbela said that just taking a normal bath has become expensive for most of the villagers who cannot afford to buy water daily.
He said that the water crisis is also affecting schools and clinics in their locality.
Malumbela added that some villagers have started selling water and people who cannot afford it just use water from the stream or boreholes.
He also said that they also fetch water from public standpipes located in different wards in Tutume, which often run out of water.
Another concerned villager, Evangelinah Malumbela shared similar sentiments as Victor. She said that the situation is also affecting the local schools and clinics.
Evangelinah said that some of the students in their village are suffering as they have go to school after taking half a bath or just washing their faces.
She believed that a shortage of water is going to pose a health risk on most of the villagers who often drink contaminated water from the river.
She feared that if the villagers continue to drink contaminated water they might be able to transmit diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera.