Gweru gets automated water kiosk

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Automated water access point

BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
GWERU City Council, with the assistance of a German non-governmental organisation (NGO), Welthungerhilfe has established its first automated water kiosk which uses a tap-card system to draw water from a borehole, Southern Eye has established.

Council mooted the introduction of automated water boreholes two years ago.

Residents started getting the precious liquid from the new solar powered system, which is located in Mambo high-density suburb, this month at a cost of $10 for 20 litres.

The state-of-the-art borehole is ran by a committee selected from residents. The committee sees to the day-to-day running of the water system.

Speaking yesterday at a Gweru United Residents and Ratepayers Development Association (GUPRARDA) organised  virtual discussion on the water challenges affecting the city,  GUPRARDA director David Chikore said although the setting up of the water kiosk was a noble idea, there was need to consider disadvantaged people who might not have money to pay for the precious liquid.

“There is need to put in place provisions that cushion groups such as people with disabilities, cash constrained senior citizens and those who might be terminally-ill, or are frail to also get water from the borehole,” Chikore said.

The automated borehole committee indicated that it would give at least 20 litres per day for free to the underprivileged as well as 300 litres for three days to those holding funerals.

The committee said the tapcard costs US$3 and would be loaded with 1 200 litres on purchase, and thereafter can be used to buy any desired water volume by the cardholder.

“As for the small fee of 10 bond per 20 litres, it would be used for the general maintenance of the borehole, the purchase of chlorine tablets, filters and other required consumables,” the committee said in a statement.

“The small charge will also cater for the security personnel which guard the borehole as well as the water cashier.”

Speaking at the same meeting, ward 18 councillor John Manyundwa said special groups would have their needs attended to ward-by-ward by councillors and the committee.

The automated water kiosk is expected to ease the perennial water challenges faced by residents.

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