BUHERA – Buhera villagers are facing critical water shortages not seen in years. Cattle are driven 20km away after every two days to get to water points. Villagers and domestic animals share water from wells dug in sand along riverbeds.
Several Buhera councillors have called on Government to increase borehole depths from 60m to 100m as the water tables keep falling. The District Development Co-ordinator Freeman Mavhiza could not be reached for comment.
Buhera is one of the driest districts in Zimbabwe with most parts falling under regions 3, 4 and 5 where the rains that are received are 600-800mm, 400mm and below 300mm respectively.
This year the average rainfall received in Buhera is 338.125mm against normal rainfall of 500mm.
Buhera Ward 16 councillor Timothy Matsenhura and Ward 14 councillor Albert Chemhere painted a gloomy picture of the situation in their areas.
Matsenhura said all six weir dams in Ward 16 which provided water for livestock and other purposes for villagers
have completely dried up. Now the villagers are taking their cattle to Nyazvidzi River on the border with Gutu District which is 18km.
The villages that are dependent on those weirs are Madzimbatsuro, Nechavava, Makonya, Bika, Chisipiti, Benzi, Tabarira, Gapu, Shereni, Chikuwa, Gava, Gudza, Chapukira, Masvingise, Garikai, Muganhiri, Dzanhuwa
Tarwirei and Mavhenyengwa.
Matsenhura also said that there are 12 community boreholes in his area which are almost dry. Villagers along Nyazvidzi River share water points for their domestic water with their livestock. Villagers wells for livestock and to avoid sharing water with livestock, the side they fetch water for domestic use is covered with drums,” said Matsenhura.
Matsenhura said the drying boreholes are less than 60m deep and there is need to deepen the boreholes from 60m to 100m deep as the water table continue to decline.
He also said that the livestock not only struggle for water but there is also inadequate grazing areas for livestock and villagers fear that by the beginning of rains in November, they would have lost their cattle.
“The cattle are now depending on dry leaves as there is inadequate grazing areas. The community fears that by November they would have gone through the experiences of 1982, 1992 and 2002 where they lost all their cattle to drought and left with donkeys, goats and sheep,” said Matsenhura.
Ward 14 Councillor Chemhere said water crisis is worsening with villagers walking 9km distances to access water for domestic use from Marovanyati dam.
“Water situation in really bad. Women are walking long distances to get water for domestic use from Marovanyati
dam and some access clean water from boreholes in Murambinda Growth Point and Marenga Business Centre,” said Chemhere.
The affected villages in Ward 14 are Dzoma, Tagarira, Mandongwe, Makoni, Makutya, Kambeva,Gamanya, Matibhiri, Dhave, Mushayanguwo, Muguta, Kanongovere, Man’on’o, Mututi and Tanyanyiwa. https://masvingomirror.com