Chitungwiza goes five weeks without water


Chitungwiza residents have gone for close to five weeks without water and were yesterday furious that Town Clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa was refuting their claims.
NewsDay received many calls over the past week from angry residents complaining they had gone for “weeks on end” without running water. A visit to the dormitory town this week confirmed there was no water at least in Seke units A, A-Extension, B, C, C-Extension, G, K, L, O, and P. There was also no water in parts of Zengeza.
But Tanyanyiwa was adamant that water supply in the town was normal.
“These said areas have always been with water for that said period save for the four days that our main supplier was doing maintenance work at Morton Jaffray, ” said Tanyanyiwa. “It is not true that the said areas have no water.”
Shadreck Muza of Unit A, who said he had not received a drop of water since the end of May, challenged the town clerk to visit the affected areas to see for himself.
“The town clerk should not provoke residents in that manner. We could go to (Chitungwiza Council) head office and bring him here to prove his claims. Are all these people you see carrying water buckets from unsafe wells insane? I think the town clerk is taking us too much for granted,” said an angry Muza.
When NewsDay arrived in Muza’s area there was no water and there was a hive of activity on the roads as women and children criss-crossed the roads going or coming from fetching water from, mostly unprotected wells.
Councillor Washington Usada confirmed there had not been any running water in his area for several weeks but said as far as he had been informed, the problem had to do with the Harare City Council, which supplies water to Chitungwiza.
Residents in Unit C mobbed this writer shouting their complaints about having gone for an unprecedented long period of time without running water. Even children joined in the fray saying they were going to school without bathing because there was no water.
“This is totally unacceptable,” said Webster Gushungo. We have not had a drop of water since last month. People are literally living in queues at unprotected wells and the few boreholes in the neighbourhood. If you say the town clerk is claiming we have water here, then there must be something very wrong with him. We might have to organise to go to his office and invite him here to show us the water that he is talking about.”
Residents living in low-lying areas where water supply is usually reliable also complained they had not received any water for most of last week and the week before. They said they only started getting water on Sunday night and for only about an hour in the middle of the night.
Artwell Umera said the attitude of the town clerk frightened him.
“It appears the town authorities want to acknowledge this water crisis after another outbreak of cholera,” said Umera.