Late last month the Harare’s City Council announced that they were having trouble sourcing water treating chemicals. As a result most of Harare and Chitungwiza’s residents have had to live without water as taps have run dry. This has forced residents to congregate at community boreholes and wells, going against the government’s touted social distancing rules.

The situation has also seen water vendors i.e. people who sell water in bulk making a killing. As Zimbabweans have to grapple with multiple queues such as ZUPCO queues and mealie-meal queues, a lot of people do not have time to find a borehole to get their own water. This has resulted in water vendors seeing a spike in the water selling business. These resourceful water vendors sometimes source their water from private electric boreholes instead of having to wait in line at community boreholes allowing them to provide an endless supply.

We do not have a choice. Authorities who are supposed to provide us with water have failed us. I buy 12 buckets of water daily and I hire someone to carry those buckets to my house and they charge $2 per bucket. So all in all, I need close to $50 daily for water.

One Chitungiwa resident speaking to the Herald