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Coping with water scarcity: The social and environmental impact of the 1982-1992 droughts on Makokoba Township, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses the social, environmental, and health implications of water scarcity and explores its effects on the daily lives of Makokoba. Problems associated with water scarcity for the residents of Makokoba and Bulawayo in Zimbabwe began with the BCCs panic responses to the impending water shortages. Enforcement measures included high fines and intermittent cutting off supplies to induce co-operation. The effects of the dry spell on the people of Makokoba were the increased cost of vegetables and diseases like diarrhoea and blisters, which happened due to lack of hygiene. The water rationing curtailed water supplies for the maintenance of eFusini, resulting in the drying up of the lawns. One of the most important coping strategies for residents in Makokoba was to rely on community networks. The chapter has demonstrated the extent to which decisions can create social, health and environmental costs that often only the poor pay for.

Keywords: BCC; Bulawayo; diarrhoea; eFusini; Makokoba; water scarcity; Zimbabwe



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