By Brenna Matendere
Redcliff MP Lloyd Mukapiko says the dormitory town is prone to cholera and typhoid outbreaks because of the perennial water crisis that has seen residents relying on unsafe backyard wells.
Since last year, Redcliff which gets its water from Kwekwe City Council; has been experiencing erratic supplies and sometimes going for over a fortnight without the precious liquid.
Kwekwe mayoress Angeline Kasipo recently blamed the water crisis on the old pumping system, denying reports that her local authority was pulling the plug due to the $3 million debt it is owed by Redcliff.
Mukapiko has warned the crisis was fast degenerating into a health time bomb.
“We have a serious crisis. We get water about once a week and for very few hours, sometimes, during odd hours when people are actually sleeping. In Torwood suburbs, people are now digging wells and relying on them. The wells are unprotected and unsafe. I fear we can soon have a serious cholera or typhoid outbreak,” he said.
Mukapiko said even the tape water they get on irregular basis was unsafe.
“In other areas when the water comes out, it will be very dirty maybe due to the old pipes or rust that is therein. So again that’s another problem raising risks of outbreaks of waterborne diseases,” he added.
The MP called upon government and the corporate world to help Redcliff become a water authority so that it can take care of its requirements and not rely on Kwekwe.
“I have been talking to the Redcliff municipality over the issue of us having our own water system. The raw water sources are there, but what we need is support from government and the corporate world so that we can have a treatment plant. Water is life and the crisis must be taken very seriously,” Mukapiko said.
During the last Kwekwe full council meeting, deputy mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa implored the local authority to urgently address the Redcliff water crisis. However, some councillors argued that it was proper for the supplies to be intermittent so that the dormitory town is forced to clear its $3 million debt.