Water Crisis in Zimbabwe

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Context: Zimbabwe's capital runs dry as taps cut off for 2 million people. 

Mains: GS III- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

Case Study:

  • The more than 2 million residents of Zimbabwe's capital and surrounding towns are now without water after authorities shut down the city's main treatment plan, raising fears after a recent cholera outbreak while the economy crumbles further. 
  • Officials in Zimbabwe's capital Harare have struggled to raise foreign currency to import water treatment chemicals- about $2.7 million is needed per month. 
  • Meanwhile, water levels in polluted dams are dropping because of drought. 
  • The capital city frequently records cases of diseases such as typhoid due to water shortages and dilapidated sewer infrastructure. Some residents are forced to get water from shallow, unsafe wells and defecate in the open. 
  • The country was once a bright spot in southern Africa and a regional breadbasket but the economy has collapsed in recent years, and foreign currency is hard to come by. 
  • The deepening frustrations have exploded more than once into protests that have swiftly been followed by sometimes violent government crackdowns. 

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