Zimbabwe’s Water shortage


A child and what is likely their only source of water

Isabella Harrop, Staff Writer

Zimbabwe is a country in southern Africa where currently more than two million people are unable to access clean water. They have been facing a drought and now the authorities have shut down the main, water treatment plan due to insufficient funds.

They are suffering economically because there isn’t enough foreign currency to import chemicals to treat their water, which costs about $2.7 million a month. 2.7 million is about 40 million in Zimbabwe’s money, and they are only collecting about 15 million currently.

The main water supply has algae, vehicle tires and water bottles floating in it. The water is also green, and it gives off a foul smell. Due to the water shortage and sewer infrastructure, there have been cases of diseases like typhoid and Cholera, bacterial diseases that are caused by contaminated food or water. Last year there were 26 deaths due to Cholera.

The El Nino drought reduced water level in the dams including the Kariba, which is the largest electricity hydro plant. The Mortan plant should be producing about 1,200 liters per day but it is only giving about 704 litters. Another plant also closed due to two small dams that dried up.

Prices of basic items have increased and even doctors aren’t able to make it to work because they can’t afford the commute. Children are missing school because they can’t use the bathrooms due to the toilets not working or because they are disgusting from the buildup since they don’t have water to be flushed.

People are pumping water and then waiting thirty minutes for water to seep through into the well again to pump again. Residents have been lining up in the middle of the night at the wells to get water. They also have been given a limit of only 20 liters of water per person. For now, everyone is relying on wells and boreholes, which is the groundwater supply.

Zimbabwe’s president is trying to improve their economy but at the time there is no hope for their situation to improve anytime soon. Residents as of now are trying to wash up less, use the bathroom less and drink less water.