Water scarcity in Rushinga, Mashonaland Central Province, has reached acute levels, painting a bleak picture for women and young girls who are now spending more time out of school in search of the precious liquid.
Laundry has become a luxury the Rushinga community cannot afford and even when they do, they have to make sure they do so sparingly.
Villagers are facing the reality of a ‘day zero,’ that moment when they will wake up to find they have nothing left for them to drink as rivers and dams are drying up quickly due to the intense heat that has wreaked havoc in the area.
The burden is falling on women and young girls who are now spending more time fetching the natural resource instead of focusing on their school work.
The water crisis also has no mercy for the elderly who are also sucked in this web that leaves a very little room to negotiate.
Rushinga’s prevailing environmental conditions are sending many into panic, robbing them of that basic right to access clean water.
And to minimise the chaos, a community plan has been devised.
“This borehole is our only hope but it is just 3-metres deed, so we are limiting villagers to one 20 litre bucket per household per day to manage the situation,” Chief Makuni said.
However, for those living away from Chief Makuni’s area, they face the mammoth task to travel at least 8 kilometres to the nearest water point.
Rushinga is fast becoming another case in Southern Africa faced with acute water shortages after Cape Town almost ran out of the commodity in 2017 on rising global temperatures.
With donor support to avert this crisis, the hope for these young Rushinga girls may just become a roadway of broken dreams.