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Gweru faces stringent water rationing

Gweru town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza has urged residents to brace for stringent water rationing as the city’s main supplier, Gwenoro Dam is only 26% full, just enough for the next five months.

She said the city required US$64 million to upgrade its old and dilapidated water pumping system.

“Residents are further advised that Gwenoro Dam is currently at 26%, which translates to only five months’ supply at current production rate,” Gwatipedza said in a statement.

“In this case, we will be forced in the next few months to exercise strict water rationing so as to extend the period by which we extract water from Gwenoro.”

The town clerk said although Amapongokwe Dam was 75% full, there was need for resources to construct and equip its raw water pump station.

Last week, acting finance director Owen Masimba said US$6 million was required for a new water abstraction plant at Amapongokwe.

Masimba added that Gwenoro would be decommissioned by October this year. Over the years, the city has been facing erratic water supplies as a result of power outages and pipe bursts due to obsolete equipment.

Yesterday, residents reacted to the statement on social media platforms, blasting council for taking long to address the city’s water challenges.

“What has that (tight water rationing) to do with us? They (council officials) behave as if we have had water on our taps all along,” fumed one resident.

Another resident from Mkoba 14 said taps in the suburb were developing rust as they had gone for several months without water. Other residents said they wondered what the local authority was rationing, as they now relied on boreholes for water.

Council spokesperson Manford Gambiza yesterday said council had embarked on water rationing in Mkoba South and Senga in order to supply Ridgemont and Northgate Heights.

“We kindly urge the affected areas to bear with us as we try to share the precious liquid,” he said.

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