Several individuals who have boreholes on their properties in Harare have confirmed receiving US$100 invoices from the ZINWA under the auspices of various catchment authorities. This might mean that the government is pushing a move to regularise all boreholes. Currently, it’s like a wild west out there with property owners simply paying drilling companies to drill boreholes without any sort of regulation whatsoever despite what the law says.

For most people boreholes have been a lifeline since the 2008 crisis. Quite a number of suburbs haven’t had running water for over a decade and even in the ones that have running water that can get cut off any time. In some towns and cities like in Chitungwiza they only have running water one day per week. It’s not even clear what the problem is. Again boreholes have been an essential lifeline in such areas.

One such borehole invoice

This is necessary and needed

Some borehole owners are already complaining over this fee but this is needed. As I already said, it has been a wild west out there. At the moment anyone can drill a borehole anyway even though the law says you need permission from the authorities. This has resulted in excessive depletion of groundwater in some areas with some boreholes running dry. In some cases, people have consumed contaminated groundwater without even knowing it.

This regularising exercise will rein in the wanton drilling and lead to groundwater monitoring to make sure that there is no overexploitation or consumption.