Zimbabwe is gearing up for a bone dry period ahead. A so-called rainy season actually left the country high and dry, and turned out to be drier than the great drought of 1992. And the department ofwater has let out the alarming news that the country's dams are on the average only 20 per cent full. The situation has reached a point where the need to conserve water has become the focal point of campaigning by the candidates for the elections scheduled for April 8 and 9.

Harare, the country's capital, has been particularly hard hit by the water crunch. Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's 2nd largest town, has now been dubbed "the dry city".