HOPLEY residents are being forced to resort to buying dirty water for up to $1 000, or US$1 per six buckets, from those lucky enough to have wells in their yards.
Some residents claim those with wells are defecating in shallow wells in order to force residents to buy water from them.
Many of the residents are now drinking water from unsafe sources, including pits at Mbudzi Cemetery.
One of the residents, Wonder Mahambi, said it was unfortunate that they were being subjected to such cruelty.
“We live in a densely populated area and the available water is not enough for everyone. We are forced to buy from those with wells at their houses.
“When those who sell water notice that customers no longer buy their water, they defecate in unprotected wells to force customers to return,” said Mahambi.
He said circumstances had forced them to use water from unprotected wells even in the face of risks associated with their actions.
“As you can see, our homes are less than 10 metres away from the graves, but our wells dried up a long time ago.
“This has forced us to fetch water from these shallow wells despite the water being unsafe.
“As a result, our area is now prone to water-borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and bilharzia, especially during the rainy season,” he said.
Muchaneta Mudzuri said they use the water they fetch from the cemetery for cooking, drinking and other everyday use.
“We are drinking unsafe water from pits at Mbudzi Cemetery because we have no other source of water. This is how we live in this area.”