Heather Charema in Chegutu
Chegutu’s dire water situation has worsened following breakdown of many boreholes in the town, forcing residents to fetch untreated water from Mupfure River.
Chegutu Municipality replaced five pumps to improve the pumping capacity to 12 mega-litres from around eight mega-litres per day, but power outages have reduced efficiency.
Consequently, the town’s water supplies have been reduced to less than 2,2 mega litres per day which is not enough for the town. Leakages due to dilapidated pipes have worsened the situation.
This dire situation has forced residents to rely on boreholes, but breakdowns have exacerbated the plight.
In an interview, Combined Chegutu Residents and Ratepayers Association president Mr Moffat Tembo confirmed the dire water situation, which has seen residents flocking to Mupfure River for laundry.
“As Combined Chegutu Residents and Ratepayers Association Trust we are receiving a lot of complaints concerning unavailability of water. In Ward 12, Phase 2, 3 and 4, there are no functional boreholes and most of our residents have resorted to washing clothes along Mupfure River where they have to walk for about 2km,” he said.
“Since the municipality has two bowsers which deliver treated water to their managers, we are suggesting that these bowsers ferry water to DRC, Kaguvi and Hintonville residential areas.”
He said residents in Hintonville were also paying for water bills when there is no water coming from their taps.
“In Chegutu we have plenty of clean portable water at Clifton Reservoir Dam and Poole dam, it’s only the means of bringing it to the residents which has been lacking for the past 10 years.”
He said Chegutu was different from other towns as it had many water sources.
Chegutu Municipality Water and Sanitation Technician Mr Raphael Kunda said the increase in water demands had increased the borehole breakdown frequency by 30 percent.
Chegutu mayor Cllr Henry Muchatibaya recently revealed that it was impossible for council to give out water bowsers to residents.
“We have been fixing boreholes as council and I appeal to members of our community to assist in whatever way possible and also report these faults to municipality or ward councillors.
‘‘It is not possible for us to give out water bowsers to the residents due to fuel challenges,” he said.