Plumtree water outage leaves deportees, residents stranded

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A HEALTH hazard looms in Plumtree town which is housing over 100 deportees quarantined at Plumtree High School after taps ran dry on Monday, forcing residents to resort to unsafe water sources.
The border town’s water supplies were cut off reportedly after a burst on the main pipeline from Mangwe Dam to the waterworks.

BY RICHARD MUPONDE

Plumtree town has no community boreholes to sustain the ballooning population which now relies on unprotected wells.

Reports from the border town were that the deportees were the most affected as they could not leave the premises to fetch water.

“It’s really difficult for them because with their numbers they need a lot of water for ablution and personal hygiene. The situation is not looking good at all. If it persists then we will have a cholera outbreak,” a source said

He said council assured them that the situation would return to normal shortly. “There has been talk that council will provide water for the deportees. However, residents have also suffered during this period as there are no alternative sources of clean water,” he said.

Council chairperson Fanisani Dube yesterday confirmed the situation and said supplies would be restored.
“We had a main water supply pipe burst, the main line from Mangwe Dam. They were busy on it yesterday (Wednesday). Probably today (yesterday) we will start pumping,” Dube said.

Deportees at Plumtree High School were part of a group of 500 who were repatriated from Botswana starting a fortnight ago.

Four hundred were on Monday relocated from their previous quarantine centre, Plumtree High School to provide them with better living conditions and ease crowding.

Some were housed at Bulawayo Polytechnic while others are at the United College of Education. Hillside Teachers’ College is expected to take in some deportees.

However some of them will be released this week to their families after being found asymptomatic.