Gweru grapples with water leaks

By Stephen Chadenga

GWERU City Council continues to face water leakages with the local authority yesterday shutting pumps at main water supplier, Gwenoro Dam to enable it to attend to the problem.

In a statement, council described the leaks as “seriously compromising” the pumping of the precious liquid to all parts of the city.

“Water supply has been seriously compromised due to leakages which have resulted in low pressure or no water reaching some areas,” council said.

The local authority indicated that it was shutting down pumps at Gwenoro as its “technical team would be attending to leakages”.

The development comes as a 2019 service delivery probe team report revealed that water leaks detection equipment donated three years ago by the German Agency for International Co-operation (GIZ) and a local company, Zimit was lying idle, with council engineering department failing to utilise it to curb water losses.

“An audit carried at council indicated that GIZ and Zimit company donated water loss equipment to council in 2017, but the apparatus is not being utilised. The equipment comprises leak locators which are not being used by the engineering department as confirmed by the audit,” the report read.

“Loss of water through leaks is rampant as the department (engineering) lacks appetite or capacity to attend to these leaks well mindful of the fact that the water is treated.”
Gweru Residents Forum director Charles Mazorodze said council needed to set its priorities right.

“Honestly how can a serious council fail to at least attend to leaks?” he quizzed.

“Everyone, including local authorities, is facing financial difficulties, but there are some issues that they (city fathers) can’t fail to attend to. It’s a matter of setting priorities right.”

A 2018 service level benchmarking peer review report on council revealed that the Midlands capital was losing at least 57% of its treated water through burst pipes and leakages.

It recommended that Gweru modernises its water reticulation system to minimise leakages.

The committee also noted that the city would continue to incur labour, power and water treatment costs if the problem was not unattended to.

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