Residents give Gweru ultimatum as taps run dry

GWERU residents have threatened to bring business at Town House to a standstill over an acute water crisis that has seen the city go without water since last week.

BY BRENNA MATENDERE

All areas in the city’s biggest high-density suburb of Mkoba have no running water while medium and low-density areas like Lundi Park, Southdowns, Athlone, Irvine, Riverside and Ascot have also bee affected.

“We are giving the local city council a 24-hour ultimatum to resolve the crisis, failure of which we will shut down Town House until we have running water in our homes. Residents are very angry and the wave is sweeping across the city. We want the water situation resolved as soon as possible because we cannot risk having another round of cholera and typhoid outbreaks,” said Gweru Residents and RatePayers’ Association chairperson Cornelia Selipiwe.

Gweru Residents Forum director Charles Mazorodze said water was a precious commodity that the city council should not deprive people of.

“The problem is that there is no formal communication from council to say what is the problem. We want the issue to be addressed urgently because our mothers, the elderly, people with disabilities and other people are suffering due to the water crisis,” he said.

Mkoba MP Amos Chibaya said the water crisis is deeply affecting people in his constituency and urged council to shape up.

“This is not good at all because water is life. I have people who lost their lives recently in my constituency due to dirty water, now people are using water from unprotected sources. Gweru engineers must address this issue of water urgently. The council’s public relations department must inform people all the times when there is water crisis,” he said.

Gweru Urban legislator Brian Dube also expressed concern over the water crisis and told Southern Eye that it exposed the incompetence of management at Town House.

Mayor Josiah Makombe said he was tirelessly working on the issue and suggested there were elements of sabotage.

“I am worried and disturbed about the water situation. I have taken my management to task about this issue. It looks like there is sabotage taking place.
The statements I am getting from the technical staff are far from convincing. We will do all it takes to take action against those responsible,” he said.

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