The future of Sebakwe Dam is under threat from farmers resettled in its catchment area.
City engineer John Mhike told council farming activities in the dam’s catchment area had increased siltation which was also affecting the “tepidity” of water treated at Kwekwe Dutchmen Waterworks.
“Our investigations show farming activities by farmers resettled in the dam’s catchment area have increased siltation and as a result water collected in the dam is heavily muddied owing to farming activities,” Mhike said.
He said apart from the dam bottom filling with mud, the local authority was now battling with a high bill in acquiring water treatment chemicals which has now doubled.
“We are now using 90 tonnes of water treatment chemicals per month to try and clean the water which we are tapping from the dam during this rainy season . . . As long as rains persist, we are going to pay a heavy chemical bill and water coming from our taps will be discoloured, but infection- free,” Mhike said.
Kwekwe residents have complained over the quality of water supplied by council which they said was dirty.
Mbizo residents have often complained of diarrhoea, amid fears the water could be the contributing agent.
Meanwhile, mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa said he had engaged Water Resources Management and Development minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo to resolve squabbles between the local authority and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa).
Council had approached Zinwa requesting to have the authority open plugs in the bottom of the dam to clear the mud being pumped directly to the water treatment plant, but Zinwa has reportedly refused demanding payment of a $800 000 debt.