Chegutu Town Council has reportedly paid $325 000 to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) for construction of a powerline which will feed its waterworks with uninterrupted power supplies in their bid to fight crippling water woes haunting the town.
“We have since processed the payments to Zesa and they promised to finish construction of the powerline by September 30,” said town treasurer Shepherd Kamba.
Construction of the powerline is being funded through a government loan accessed by the local authority through the Public Sector Investment Programme (PSIP).
“We have been facing serious water problems which saw some of our residents not getting water for over six months. However, following help from France Red Cross, United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and Zimbabwe Red Cross Society, we managed to rehabilitate our waterworks which can now pump water to capacity. The only challenge we face now is the serious power outages which have affected our pumping capacity,” added town clerk Alex Mandigo.
Despite the rehabilitation of the waterworks, the local authority was failing to pump water due to serious power outages which affected pumping capacity from both the water source and the treatment plant.
“Clifton Dam, which is our water source, is 15km from the water treatment plant. The challenge is that these two points never get power supplies at the same time and therefore despite the new water pumps which were recently put in place, we have not been in a position to pump water most of the times. Therefore, construction of the powerline will ensure that supplies are normal,” said Mandigo.
The local authority, in partnership with Japan International Cooperation Agency, has also sent its town engineer Robson Manatsa, to Japan where he will be trained in water and sewer reticulation for the next two months.
“This partnership will ensure our staff will be able to maintain the newly-installed pumps and also lead the way as we move into improving our sewerage reticulation. As a local authority, we have taken advantage of the opportunities availed by the stable political environment to improve service delivery for our people,” said Mandigo.
Chegutu accessed $550 000 from the PSIP which the local authority has committed to funding water rehabilitation programmes.