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Water Crises Hits
Stephen Chadenga

Water crisis hits Gweru
INCESSANT power cuts at Gweru City Council’s Gwenoro and Whitewaters dams waterworks have caused a severe water crisis, with some residents going without running water since last Thursday.

Since last week most high density suburbs have been hit by water shortages as a result of power cuts at Gwenoro Dam, forcing many residents to queue at the few functional boreholes, while others fetched water from unprotected wells as the water crisis became dire.

Efforts to get comment from Zesa (Southern Region) general manager, King Dube were fruitless.

The situation has been worsened by ageing pumps that have gone for decades without being replaced.

Council acting director of engineering services, Praymore Mhlanga recently blamed ageing pumps for the water shortages.

“We have pumps as old as 30 years and added to this is the problem of incessant power cuts, hence, the water shortages being experienced,” he said.

Last year, residents shot down a proposal by the city fathers to introduce a once-off payment of $20 per household, which was meant to raise funds for procurement of new water pumps.

Chairperson of the commission running the affairs at the council, Tsunga Mhangami recently revealed that the city’s water reservoirs have not been operational for more than a decade, a situation that is affecting pumping pressure and supply of adequate water to residents.

Mhangami said, because of power cuts, the city continued to face interruptions in water supplies as treated water is directly pumped from Gwenoro Dam.
“ Because water is pumped directly from Gwenoro Dam to residents, it means whenever there are power cuts, there is interruption in pumping pressure, hence the recurrent shortages in the city,” he said.

“The ideal situation would be that water is pumped from supply dams to reservoirs and then from these reservoirs to residents.”

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