HARARE, Zimbabwe — It had been five days since water had stopped flowing out of the taps at Eneres Kaitano’s bungalow in southern Harare, Zimbabwe’s modern and tidy capital city. Five days since she had done any laundry. Five days since she had forbidden her children from using the toilet more than once a day.
On the sixth day, she again rose at 3 a.m. to fetch water from a communal borehole. By the early afternoon, she was still waiting her turn at the tap with her six buckets and cans.
Much of the city had the same idea. More than half of the 4.5 million residents of Harare’s greater metropolitan area now have running water only once a week, according to the city’s mayor, forcing them to wait in lines at communal wells, streams and boreholes.
“It is causing us serious problems,” said Ms. Kaitano, a 29-year-old jeans wholesaler who was down to her last clean outfit last week. “We have to stop ourselves from going to the toilet.”