By Luthando Mapepa
Cash strapped Chipinge Town Council has embarked on a massive water infrastructure rehabilitation programme to meet the high demand for water in the fast growing eastern border town.
The current infrastructure is failing to adequately meet the town’s water demands, as it was designed for a small population.
Chipinge Town Council administrator Mr Joseph Mashingaidze told The Herald on Monday that the town’s infrastructure was designed to cater for 10 000 residents then.
“Our infrastructure was designed to supply water for around 10 000 people, but the population of Chipinge urban has since grown to about 20 000 people,” he said.
“This forced council to embark on a water rationing programme to make sure that every household received their fair share of the water.”
Mr Mashingaidze said in mitigating the water shortages, council had also built a water reservoir with twice the holding capacity of the original one.
“After this development, residents started receiving improved water services despite the fact that the old pipes continuously burst. To make the new reservoir fully operational, we are also mobilising resources for a complete makeover of the current pipe network.”
“Another five megalitre reservoir will be built soon so that we are able to supply the whole town without hiccups once the old infrastructure is completely replaced,” he said.
Residents said council should consider installing prepaid water meter for every household to ensure a fair distribution of water.
“Most people are still used to the erratic and inadequate supplies so they do not close their taps as they try to make sure every other container is filled up,” a Gaza high- density suburb resident, Mr Saxon Chirata, commented.
“Taps are left running and precious water is lost most of the time. I think it is time council considers installing prepaid meters to make sure residents account for every drop of water used.
“Some areas are not getting water because it is being wasted elsewhere.”