VILLAGERS in Kezi have appealed for more boreholes in their area as they continue to drink dirty water from pools shared with animals.
Chief Nyangazonke of Kezi said more effort was needed towards water harvesting during the rainy season to avoid water woes that the greater part of people under his jurisdiction are facing.
“More effort should be put on harvesting rain water. Having dams in our big rivers will save us all the hassles that we go through. It is just barely four months from the rain season, however, some of our areas are already experiencing problems,” said the chief. Water woes are perennial in the area as there are a few reservoirs. A lot of water is lost during the rainy season.
The community decried sidelining of traditional leaders by donors and other organisations when coming to donate or to seek information related with water and sanitation.
He said: “A major problem is that even if donors come, they do not seek the opinions of traditional leaders who many a times may know better about an area. Some places experience more challenges to do with water, while some areas are better.”
The chief also highlighted vandalism as a major contributor to the water woe that people in some areas of Kezi are facing. “People destroy pipes from the dam and axe equipment, especially in new settlements. You wonder why people do some things. They steal equipment and they are the same people crying of poor service delivery. At the irrigation near Kezi centre they stole pipes, taps, tubes, and then complained when the facility stopped working. They could be benefiting. Sometimes people are their own enemies,” said the Chief.
Gogo Miriam Nxumalo (84) of Kezi says she has to walk for over 7km to Hovi River to fetch water as the stream that is nearby to her homestead has unclean water that she says actually stinks. “We cannot afford to use the water from the nearby stream because it makes people sick. We can only use it for gardening and other domestic use, not cooking and drinking,” she said.
“The water at a nearby stream smells awful. People wash in it, animals drink from it and there is no place where one can dig in the sand to try and get underground clean water. If we had a borehole, my life would be better.”
Sihle Matshona (56) of Hovi Village says she fetches clean water from Bhode River when she gets a lift from her neighbours, who have a scotch cart. “I often have to ask my neighbours to bring me some water, so if they have enough water supplies, I have the option of walking all the way or just drinking the dirty water from nearby pools.
We hope that something will be done soon as this situation is difficult for us, we hope the Government will hear us through the media when you tell the world about our plight,” she said.
Matshona said they had a council borehole near a school in the area but it had not been repaired after it broke down three years ago.
“We use the nearby streams for water to use for other domestic purposes. We have a borehole near the school but it hasn’t been working for the last three years,” said Ncube.