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No solution for Chi-town water crisis

By Munyaradzi Doma / Published on Friday, 07 Oct 2016 16:46 PM / No Comments / 1078 views

7 October 2016

 

council-chitungwiza-water-woes-people-at-a-borehole
The Chitungwiza Municipality currently does not have an immediate solution to deal with the current water woes, Town Clerk George Makunde has revealed.


In an interview with H-Metro yesterday, Makunde said while they are doing all they can to provide water for residents, currently they find between a rock and a hard place because of several challenges.

One of the challenges being the Muda Dam construction project; which has hit snag, said Makunde.

“The programme that we have is a long term programme because if I can tell you at the moment we don’t have a solution which we can say will once and for all alleviate water shortages.

“The programme we have is that for the construction of the Muda Dam which was even proclaimed by the President during the official of Parliament.

“As council, we then went out of our way to get a partner as we created Chitungwiza Water Company but that project (Muda Dam construction) has hit a snag because our Ministry (Local Government, Public Works and National Housing) has not yet approved that despite us having done all paper works that need to be done.

“I even appointed our engineer to be the acting CEO for the company but that US$213 million project at the moment cannot commence.

“Right now we are on the verge of getting US$2,5 million for the final feasibility studies but IDBZ cannot release that money because we have not been given the authorisation letter, so we are just waiting on that,” said Makunde.

He added that though there are some boreholes that are supplying water to residents, “they (boreholes) are not enough because of the numbers we have here in Chitungwiza.

“It may seem like we need to have a borehole for each household,” said Makunde.

He said currently the municipality has 66 000 households which are on the layout plans with the rest being illegal.

Chitungwiza Residents Trust acknowledging the water challenges said the situation surrounding the unavailability and limited access to potable water by the residents of Chitungwiza continues to deteriorate.

Chitrest said the access to potable water was caused mainly by the “delayed onset of the rainy season and the El Nino induced
drought.

“This has seen the City of Harare, which sales water to Chitungwiza Municipality reducing its water sales from between 20 to 25 megalitres per day to about 10 megalitres per day depending on
availability.

“Chitungwiza does not have its own source of water and depends entirely on the City of Harare. This means that households that used to access tap water once a week are now accessing it once
per fortnight or a month.
“The situation has forced many families in Chitungwiza to rely on water from shallow wells or boreholes further exposing the citizens to a danger of contracting diarrhoeal diseases.

“Those in need of water are now expected to walk for distances in search of this precious liquid.
“Some who cannot afford to brave distances, long winding queues associated with public boreholes or wake up very early looking for water are compelled to part with extra money to hire ‘waterpreneurs’
who are now selling water at $1 for three or four 25 litre buckets,” said Chitrest.
it was added that “in view of the recently introduced water rationing in Harare and subsequently in Chitungwiza, an obsolete water infrastructure, an increasing urban population and the critical water shortages caused by the prevailing drought the Chitungwiza Residents Trust urges the Government to declare the water situation in urban areas a national disaster.

“In the Harare Metropolitan province alone, close to three million citizens are negatively affected by the scarcity of water.”