The villagers in the Zhomba Community collectively under Headman Madzivazvido and Siyamabhetshu respectively are hard hit by an acute water crisis.

According to Chuma from Chigoronga village, the crisis is so great and it is a threat to his livestock who are travelling kilometers for water.

I remember this crisis in 2005, we were most likely in the same crisis but God did wonders so there was water manner in the Mareka area, a distant closeby. Our livestock were watered there. But now they travel more than 20 km to the Sengwa mine pit. I don’t know the health of that water and the coal effect to our livestock.

It is claimed that women travel a longest distance of more than 10 killometers with 20 liter buckets in search of drinking water. Main sources of this scarce drinking water are Chipanera Springs, Wells in the Siachirongo and Chimina rivers and wells in the Kandokwe Dam all in the Zhomba area. Some draw water from Mareka and others in the wells from the Chiutsi area.

These wells are supplying a little water that is enough for domestic consumption. However, the luckones with large pours of water have taken to ZINWA services and are selling water mainly at an exorbitant prize and are living large. Five 20 litre buckets of water are traded for a 20 litre tin of grains.

A villager who identified as Ngwenya criticised the corruption and trading of water.

This land was full of water. There were springs in the Mangirazi area near the game park, Chiutsi area, at Zhomba around Siachirongo and in Mareka. Now they have all dried up. It seems the gods are not happy. It is even written not in the bible that water is traded. It’s a shame and an abomination. They even inherited this land from their fathers who farmed on it. Now they are selling it. Where are they going to farm. That’s why we have hunger, water crisis and social ills,” lamented Mr Ngwenya.

The Sengwa Mine Pit is serving a huge population of the Siyamabhetshu (Sengwa Mine, Chimina, Mareka, Chigoronga and Gotokwa), parts of Muchimba headmanship (Magehe) and Madzivazvido headmanship (Zimbeva village). Most farmers expressed their dissatisfaction with this water source to their livestock.

Last time we took our livestock to Manyuli, Nenyunka and as far as Chilimba. It was a dissaster because the Nyaminyami Game Rangers expelled us in the middle of the crisis. We had to take them back to mine. Most calves and cows died. We don’tknow the cause of death. Some say it was dust, some blame the Pit water while others blame change of environment. But because those who took their animals straight here did not suffer these casualties.  This time everyone brought his heard here and there is overpopulation,” said Mr Nkomo who is a villager and a farmer in the area.

Those from Madzivazvido headmanship are worse more for they queue for a single water spring in the Chiutsi area where their fetch water and their livestock drink from the same. However, the spring have a constant water supply to water the entire headmanship and parts of Siyamabhetshu’s Villa Villages. Some outlying areas in the far West are served by the Zazamombe dam in the Chidoma area, Chief Chireya.

At the heart, Chitekete Business Centre, there is a single borehole serving the entire growth point, Gotokwa area and parts of Madzivazvido. However, the water drawn from this borehole is used for other purposes and is too sour for drinking.

Another, unfortunate part of it is that, there is a large queue and people spends the nights in the queue in order to get a 20 liter bucket of water.

However, the government through the ministry of lands and water resources encouraged the people through the Agricultural Extension Officers to construct backyard dams and bank water.

A number of people responded positively and some have completed their backyard dams. Notable three people, Mutswairo, Mabika and Chikomba (MP) hired an excavator to construct their backyard dams.

According to the source close, the excavator was hired for $10 USD an hour. He further said almost every homestead have a backyard dam especially in the Gotokwa area.

Most people are discouraged from sinking wells and boreholes because of coal and salt underground.

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