Harare (Mlondolozi Ndlovu) – The imposition of a 72 hour water rationing schedule by Bulawayo city authorities has inadvertently resulted in the abuse of children by parents and guardians, a city councillor has said.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony held at Mafakela Primary School in Bulawayo recently, Luveve constituency councillor, Tamani Moyo, said some cases of child abuse were closely related to the current water crisis in the city.
“Parents stop abusing children. These days I have realised that parents or guardian are sending children as young as seven years old to fetch water from boreholes or bowsers. This is not good. You see some of them carrying a 20 litre water bucket. I don’t want to see children coming to fetch water again,” she said.
“Parents should come and fetch water themselves and leave children alone. Once I see these children again coming to fetch water I will report you to the police,” she said.
Bulawayo city authorities recently introduced a 72 hour-long water shedding programme but has been failing to adhere to its own timetable,.
Angry residents have resorted to hoarding the precious liquid, something the council discourages and further threatening penalties on those caught doing so.
Moyo also said hunger was taking a toll on school going children and urged government to intervene with feeding programs.
Currently, a number of primary schools in Bulawayo have embarked on feeding programs to alleviate hunger.
At Mafakela Primary, parents were asked to contribute 50 cents a week.
Mafakela School Development Committee chairman, Abraham Kavalanjila, said they have witnessed a number of children fainting at school due to hunger.
“What is painful is that some of the parents don’t want to pay those 50 cents but when it comes to feeding, their children are the first ones to join the feeding queue,” he said.