In the face of crippling water woes in most parts of Harare and erratic provision of clean water from the Harare City Council, a good Samaritan has come to the rescue of residents.
Humanitarian organisation Sammy Bennet Foundation has started providing free water to residents in some parts of the capital and so far residents in Budiriro, Glen View and Waterfalls have benefited.
The charity organisation is working with bulk water suppliers Enrisha and local councillors to deliver water for free every weekend to various residential areas.
The move has proved critical in this lockdown period when water consumption is high in residential areas.
Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, families have been spending more time together in their homes, which has increased demand for domestic water and worsened the dire water situation that residents have grappled with for many years.
Sammy Bennet director for Zimbabwe, Pastor Farai Marasha, said the water deliveries have brought relief to residents.
“Water is the most important commodity and a precious liquid. When such a precious liquid is scarce, lives are under threat. People are exposed to disease outbreaks and their lives are made hard by the efforts they make to get the scarce water. Some travel long distances to fetch water. Others end up getting drinking water from unsafe sources,” said Pastor Marasha.
“Sammy Bennet Foundation saw it fit to assist residents in this challenging time of coronavirus when they need more water for use at home. Most families are spending time together at home, which means that they need more water for domestic use.”
Pastor Marasha said they intend to continue with the charity programme even after the Covid-19 pandemic because they have realised that many residents are struggling to get water. Besides delivering water, the foundation works with communities to identify the disadvantaged and elderly to give them free groceries.
“So far we have donated groceries to disadvantaged children in Warren Park and Dzivaresekwa and that programme is also continuing,” said Pastor Marasha.
Sammy Bennett Foundation was founded by Australia-based Zimbabwean philanthropist Dr Sammy Bennet in 2016, with a target of assisting orphans and disadvantaged people.
It was formed in Melbourne, Australia and has branches in Zambia, South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria
The foundation is mainly targeting high-density suburbs in the water supply programme that is expected to spread to many parts of the capital.
Some of the residents who benefited from water donations said the charity gesture had served them well.
Mildred Chirenje from Glen View said water problems have become part of residents’ lives and well-wishers like Sammy Bennet Foundation should be applauded for the good work.
“Residents are happy. We did not know about this company and their charity work is excellent. We have been facing water problems for a long time and getting water for free was far from our imaginations. Some people are now selling water, but it’s not affordable for many. We hope many other well-wishers will look into water provision as a way off assisting us,” said Chirenje.
Rebecca Makaya of Retreat Park, Waterfalls, thanked Sammy Bennet Foundation for the timely intervention.
“We did not expect someone to come with free water to us. It came as a surprise. When the announcement was made, we thought it was a joke, but now we are relieved. We are happy. Water is a problem in this area. We do not have running water because these are new stands. We depend on boreholes and wells that are now drying up. We hope the Sammy Bennet team will continue supporting us,” said Makaya.