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Shurugwi suspends water proj
Tinomuda Chakanyuka

Shurugwi suspends water project
SHURUGWI Town Council has put on hold plans to draw water from disused mine shafts which had been identified as a solution to ease acute water challenges effecting the mineral-rich town for the past decade.Shurugwi Town Council vice-chairperson Councillor Yudith Mahachi told Sunday News on Friday last week that the local authority had indefinitely suspended the plans and would now focus on other means of easing the town’s water woes.

The local authority had identified huge raw water reserves in several disused mine shafts in Railway Block which were left by Zimasco after the company ceased operations about 10 years ago.

Plans were to start using the raw water reserves to service the town which has been dogged by water shortages for almost a decade.
Clr Mahachi said Shurugwi Town Council reached the decision to shelve the plans after it appeared that talks between Zimasco and the local authority had not yielded much results.

“We opened discussions with Zimasco with the hope of drawing water from the disused shafts which the company left. Our plans were to conduct tests to see if the water was safe for human consumption. We had also planned to conduct feasibility studies on the entire project.

“All that has since been put on hold because our discussions with Zimasco did not produce the results we desired. The tone we got from the discussions was that the mine still has plans with the shafts,” she said.

The recurrent water shortages bedevilling Shurugwi have been attributed to dwindling raw water reserves at the town’s main water source, Impali Source dam, coupled with the swelling population in the town.

Shurugwi Town Council has since introduced strict water rationing in a bid to conserve the little raw water reserves.

Under the latest water rationing regime residents receive water supply three days a week.

Clr Mahachi said the local authority was focusing on other measures to mitigate the water shortage, such as drilling more boreholes in the town’s residential areas.

Shurugwi Town Council with the help of Unki Mines drilled six boreholes in the town’s residential suburbs as part of efforts to ease the water shortage and Clr Mahachi said efforts were under way to secure funds to drill more boreholes.

She said the local authority envisaged coming up with more strategies to mitigate the water crisis.

“Unki has come in to assist us with our challenges and we appreciate that. They have drilled six boreholes for us, but more can still be done to make sure that the water challenges are addressed.

“After having put the plans to draw water from the mine shafts on hold we have to shift focus to other options. We are now looking at drilling more boreholes in all residential areas, at least three in each ward, in addition to the ones that were drilled by Unki. Once we secure the necessary funding, work should start on drilling those boreholes,” she said.

Clr Mahachi added that they would resume plans to draw water from the disused mine shafts once Zimasco acceded to the local authority’s proposal.

Shurugwi residents in Sebanga Extension high-density suburb have appealed to council to expedite the installation of water pipes to enable them to access safe drinking water.

The residents said they had been relying on boreholes as well as shallow wells as water sources, as council appeared to be dragging its feet in supplying water to their area.

Residents of other suburbs in the mining town have also called on council to revise their water rationing regime which they said was too stringent.

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