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Water woes and a terrible stink

SAD REALITY: A local newspaper billboard

How I wish I had something positive or heartwarming to write about.

I looked around, again and again, desperately hoping to come across a feel good story to share with you but alas.

Maybe the only consolation, as a friend pointed out recently, is that there is peace in Zimbabwe despite the crisis we are in.

I guess there is peace mainly because the masses are scared of what could happen to them if they decide to speak out or take to the streets. The regime has struck so much fear in people that many would rather suffer in silence or just vent on social media with no action.

Hashtags come and go with no action to back them. It reminds me of the #FreeHopewell which has been trending for weeks, in reference to jailed scribe Hopewell Chi’ono who has been behind bars for more than a month now. Every time he appears in court and is denied bail, the hashtag comes to life only to die down again in time.

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One would expect people to march in solidarity and to at least show that they are fighting in his corner but no, we only fight on social media and it ends there.

“We are such cowards!” as some would say.

But anyway I didn’t want to dwell much on our political situation this week for fear of sounding like a broken record as it’s always doom and gloom.

Instead I thought I should write about the plight of Bulawayo residents, mainly those living in high density suburbs, most of who no longer have the luxury of relieving themselves in their toilets especially when doing number twos.

The country’s second largest city is facing its worst water shortages in 28 years due to drought and partly due to lack of focus and planning by the government and the local authority.

Some areas actually don’t have running water while those that are connected now get water once a week for a few hours. Otherwise residents are reduced to drawing water from nearby boreholes or rely on city council bowers to deliver the precious liquid.

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To save water, most now go to nearby bushes to relieve themselves.

So you can imagine the stench from the bushes and the litter in terms of toilet paper or newspapers as that is what most use.

One can only hope and pray that there won’t be disease outbreaks and that in the coming rainy season, heavens will smile on us so that Bulawayo people can have running water once again.

At the moment, however, it’s fair to say the city, like the situation in Zim itself, stinks!

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