Latest News Editor's Choice

News / Local

'900,000 Zimbabweans lack access to safe water'

by Staff reporter
27 Feb 2024 at 04:42hrs | Views
A STAGGERING 860 757 Zimbabweans lack access to safe drinking water while 17% of  the households are forced to travel long distances to fetch water for their daily needs, a United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) report has revealed.

According to its latest report, the decrease in rainfall due to El Niño effects is likely to exacerbate water scarcity in the country.

"About 860 757 people lack access to safe water.

"The decrease in rainfall will lead to a decrease in the availability of water. Water scarcity can force people to travel even further to seek drinking water from unsafe sources, which leads to increased diarrhoeal disease outbreaks," it said.

Unicef said the situation was compounded by the alarmingly low rate of water treatment within households thus amplifying the risks associated with waterborne diseases.

"Nationally, 17% of households travel more than 1km to fetch water, and only 3,1% of households treat their drinking water," the report added.

The report said the country would experience livelihood loss and disruption of essential services like healthcare and access to nutritious food due to the looming drought.

"Zimbabwe continues to grapple with such climate-related disasters as extremely dry weather including the anticipated El Niño-induced drought.

"The drought is projected to result in livelihood loss, water scarcity and disruption of social protection services and healthy food environments that support good diets," the report read.

The report also warned that malnutrition remains a major public health concern in Zimbabwe, with a quarter of all children experiencing stunting due to inadequate dietary intake.

Residents are going for weeks without potable water and are resorting to unsafe sources such as wells at a time when the country has recorded thousands of cholera cases.

Source - newsday