Business & Economy

Hand washing, a luxury for many in Harare

By Oliver Matthews

Harare, Aug 12 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of Zimbabweans huddle in a row next to a line of red, green, yellow and white plastic buckets.

Some wear masks as they wait on a dusty road in Mabvuku, a poor neighborhood in Harare, to collect a ration of clean water.

It can mean the difference between sickness and health, life and death.

For most of the two million people in Zimbabwe’s capital, getting water is a daily nightmare, plagued by risks that have been aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic.

Without running water, many are forced to go to wells or springs near the suburbs.

Reuben Akili, an official with the Combined Harare Residents Association, tells Efe that there will be “serious problems” if the situation does not improve.

He adds that many of the areas without water are focal points for Covid-19 infections.

Akili estimates up to 1.5 million people in Harare are suffering from urgent water shortages, a number that is likely to increase.

In March as the pandemic began to take hold the CHRA won a case in the city’s high court ordering the Zimbabwean government and authorities in the capital to provide residents with clean water.

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