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Council to end water woes
Sunday News Online

Council in bid to end water woes

GWERU City Council has moved towards easing water pumping nightmares by acquiring three water pumps to be installed at the city’s main water works, Gwenoro.

Recurrent water shortages have continued to plague the city of Gweru for the past decade owing to inadequate pumping capacity at the city’s main water works, largely attributed to obsolete water reticulation equipment.

Gweru mayor Councillor Tedious Chimombe told Sunday News last week that the local authority had acquired two pumps for an estimated $1,6 million, while one pump was donated by Germany Technical Corporation, GTZ, a German engineering firm the local authority has partnered in a water and sewer rehabilitation programme.

Cllr Chimombe said the two pumps that were bought last year are yet to be delivered to the local authority and once they arrive they will be installed together with the pump that was donated by the Germany firm.

“The two pumps that we bought last year are yet to be delivered due to a number of procedures that should be followed when buying such heavy machinery from abroad. We paid for the pumps around this time last year and normally it takes about a year for them to be delivered so we are expecting them anytime from now,” said Cllr Chimombe.

At the moment there are three water pumps at Gwenoro water works, which regularly take turns to break down causing recurrent water shortages in the city.

Cllr Chimombe said the installation of the three pumps will increase the number of pumps at Gwenoro Dam, to six which will be enough to cater for the city’s water needs.

He said the three pumps that are operating at Gwenoro are being overwhelmed by the city’s water demands resulting in low pressure and sometimes water shortages in some residential areas as the three pumps do not have the capacity to pump water into the city’s main water reservoirs at the Zimbabwe Military Academy (ZMA).

“As it stands we are currently relying on three pumps which we are straining because they do not have the capacity to supply the whole city. This has sometimes caused breakdown of pumps owing to overuse, leading to water shortages.

“When the two pumps arrive and are installed together with the one that we have that should increase our pumps to six, and obviously increase our pumping capacity. What that means is that we will be able to pump water to our reservoirs at ZMA, translating to fewer water cuts,” said cllr Chimombe.

The mayor of Gweru added that after the installation of the water pumps, areas such as Mkoba 19 that have not had consistent water supply for the past five to six years will start receiving consistent water supply.

“We have areas such as Mkoba 19 that have not had water for years, they will start receiving water once we finish installing the three pumps as our pumping capacity will have increased,” he said.

Gweru City Council has in the past embarked on various projects aimed at alleviating the city’s water woes, but none of the projects have brought a lasting solution to the shortages of the precious liquid.

In 2010, the local authority engaged a German engineering firm, GTZ, for the rehabilitation of the city’s sewer and water systems, but water problems continued to plague the city after the completion of work by GTZ.

Meanwhile, Kwekwe City Council is sweating over increased siltation of the city’s main water source, Dutchman’s Pool, owing to farming activities by resettled farmers near the water source.

Kwekwe mayor, Councillor Shadreck Tobaiwa told Sunday News last week that the city’s water source was under threat if urgent action is not taken to avert the challenge.

He said he will soon meet the district administrator for Kwekwe to discuss how best the problem can be averted as the city’s water source is under threat.

“There are a lot of reeds that have grown in the dam, and that is a sign that the dam is slowly silting. Farming activities by settled farmers are the main cause of this challenge that we have and we are soon going to engage the DA to see how best we can solve this problem,” said Cllr Tobaiwa.

Kwekwe City Council has a more reliable water supply system compared to Gweru as the former has not experienced any serious water shortages in recent years.

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