Gweru residents lose patience over water crisis

GWERU has had no water for over a week after its main water pipe from Gwenhoro Dam burst, with the council struggling to fix the problem.

BY BRENNA MATENDERE/STEPHEN CHADENGA

“We seem to be having a major burst along the Gwenhoro pumping mains. Water is being pumped at Gwenhoro, but not much is reaching Range Booster Plant, which is supposed to pump to the residential areas such as Mkoba. The city will be dry till the problem is rectified. Our teams are searching the lines right now,” mayor Josiah Makombe said.

Gweru Residents and Ratepayers’ Association chairperson, Cornelia Selipiwe said residents were losing patience with the council over the water crisis.

“Some of our members have been severely affected by the water crisis and are now losing patience with the city fathers over how they are dealing with the crisis. Some people are calling upon us to stage demonstrations, but we are going to consult widely and have a meeting with residents so that we agree on the way forward,” he said.

Gweru Residents Forum director Charles Mazorodze said they now feared another cholera and typhoid outbreak.

“If people fail to have potable water, obviously, they will seek alternative sources such as boreholes and wells. However, these sources are contaminated and have in the past, caused cholera and typhoid outbreaks. Council needs to urgently deal with the water crisis,” he said.

Last year, about 10 people died and thousands were hospitalised following a deadly typhoid outbreak in parts of Mkoba after desperate residents consumed contaminated borehole water.

Meanwhile, Shurugwi-based platinum miner, Unki Mine is rehabilitating public toilets run by the council.

Town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza (pictured) said the mine would rehabilitate five public toilets as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility programmes.

“Five of our public toilets would be rehabilitated by Unki Mine and this gesture would go a long way in ensuring a clean city and prevent potential disease outbreaks,”Gwatipedza said during a full council meeting last Thursday.

City health director Samson Sekenhamo said Unki had already begun rehabilitating the Ivene bus terminus toilet.

Over the years, residents have complained that filthy public toilets particularly at bus terminuses were forcing travellers to relieve themselves in sanitary lanes, posing a serious health hazard.

Long-distance bus terminus Kudzanai was singled out as having the filthiest toilets in the city. Although TM commuter omnibus rank toilets were last year commissioned after being renovated by Unilever Zimbabwe, councillor Catherine Mhondiwa (ward 13) revealed during a meeting that water was overflowing from the ablution facilities.

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