20 01 2010

They are everywhere these days – the water carriers. I was driving behind a 10 tonner this afternoon, water sloshing out of the 3000 litre tanks on the back. A lot of them like this one are not even proper tankers; they just have plastic tanks tied down on the back of the truck. Some of them pay the price too and on more than one occasion I have seen broken tanks and even an overturned trailer.

Water selling has been lucrative for some time now since the water treatment plant at Lake Chivero, Harare’s water supply, fell into disrepair. I know people who have not had municipal water supplied for in excess of two years now. It follows that borehole drilling and pump supplies have also been good business (as has borehole pump theft). For those who can afford a hole drilled and get good water (not a given) this has not been too much of a problem, until now. The promised el Nino drought is starting to make its presence felt and I know of several friends whose boreholes are starting to run dry. Which is good news for the water sellers.

I don’t know what the hygiene requirements are for supplying water; whether it has to be potable or not. There is one setup just down the road from my business and rather close to a municipal rubbish tip that is hiding in a premises that is ostenisbly selling used tires. A friend tried to buy some tires there a few days ago and just got blank stares. I have seen the tanker filling up inside on several occasions – used tyres? No, water!



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