Vic Falls Residents Forced To Use Bush Toilet As Water Shortages Rock Town

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

VICTORIA FALLS: The tourism town of Victoria Falls is facing an unprecedented water crisis that has seen residents in parts of Mkhosana going for a fortnight without the precious liquid.

The worst affected dwellers are those in Mfelandawonye, BD847, BD848, and BD46 sections which have not had water in their taps for more than two weeks.

What characterises most households now are an offensive strong stink of poo as there is no water to flush toilets posing a huge health time bomb to a town that is set to be granted city status.

Some residents have resorted to using the bush to relieve themselves with open defecation now rife.

The municipality has restored to supply the residents with water bowsers and long winding queues of thirsty residents jostling to fill their buckets as they endure the hot weather without water.

Residents are pressuring the residents’ association to stage a demonstration against the local council and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) which pumps bulk water to the municipality.

The residents believe there is a lack of commitment from the council and ZINWA as the water shortages have become a perennial challenge.

Every year between September and December, the resort town’s residents have to endure the hot weather with no water.

Unlike other towns, there are no boreholes in Victoria Falls because of the Kalahari soils and depth of water table.

“The situation is dire. Some areas have not had water for two weeks and you can imagine how people are surviving. Having to hunt for water each morning. This is happening when hotels are closed and where demand is low. Imagine if the whole industry was open, we would have had waterborne diseases. People are now using the bush to relieve themselves and we fear disease outbreak,” said one resident.

Victoria Falls Combined Residents Association chairperson, Kelvin Moyo called for calm saying engagement with the authorities was underway.

“Our town is faced with an unprecedented water crisis that has affected both residents and business. Residents are agitated and want to demonstrate. We are aware of the urgency this matter requires and as such we will be convening a tripartite meeting with ZINWA and council management. The situation needs to be attended to with a sober mind in order to resolve the perennial challenge,” said Moyo.