Mutare — As dark clouds began to build on the horizon, Tarisai Nyakunu Zimunya, a single mother-of-three, looked worried. The fragile structure she calls home would struggle to withstand a drizzle, let alone a storm. Zimunya is one of thousands of people living in expanding illegal settlements in the eastern city of Mutare, one of Zimbabwe’s largest, with a population recorded in the 2012 census of about 187,000. Like her, many live in squalid conditions. "With the rainy season coming, it is going to be difficult for me and my family. I cannot afford to pay rent for a better house, so I have no option but to live [here]," Zimunya said. The daily quest for clean water and firewood is an unceasing nightmare for the residents of Mutare’s slums. "We get water from a deep well a few kilometres away," she said. "The water is not all that clean, but we have no choice." And without electricity — and gas stoves unaffordable — the women must head to the nearby mountains to forage for firewood...

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