By Rex Mphisa
BEITBRIDGE town has run dry following a major breakdown at the border town’s water pumping station, Water Department officials said yesterday.
The breakdown affected supplies to an estimated 60 000 residents of the country’s busiest border post, also home to a prison with about 400 inmates, a 120-bed hospital and several service stations and shopping
“We had a major breakdown at 4pm on Tuesday. A pipe burst flooded the main pump house, rendering useless all the electrical motor pumps. We hope they are not burnt,” Mzingwane catchment area engineer Farai Manzira
“We have finished excavations to replace the burst pipes and our team is picking up replacement motors from Bulawayo and normalcy should be reached this afternoon (yesterday).”
Beitbridge Municipality’s service delivery has, of late, been under scrutiny following reports that some of the staff are underqualified.
Fingers have been pointed at the engineering department and lately, the administrative office, where officials were known to lack the required minimum qualifications.
A recent report on the operations of the municipality recommended the recruitment of a qualified engineer, among a host of other recommendations council should implement for efficient service delivery.
Recently, town clerk Loud Ramakgapola (pictured) said his office had started working on the recommendations, which he described as “fair”.
Later in the day, Beitbridge Municipality issued an apology for lack of water supplies.
“Be advised that two teams from both Zinwa (Zimbabwe National Water Authority) Beitbridge Plant and Municipality of Beitbridge (MoB) spent the whole of yesterday trying to attend to the burst water mainline pipe as reported on Tuesday, 20 August 2019. It was discovered that the problem was a bit bigger than was anticipated by technicians, hence it could not be completed yesterday,” the statement read.
Zinwa technicians were expected to restore supplies by midday yesterday.
“Pumping will commence thereafter. As such, the water situation may remain critical until then. MoB would like to sympathise with everybody on this unfortunate event and encourage residents to utilise the few
community boreholes dotted around town,” the municipality said.