Mabvuku residents have vowed to protect water infrastructure in the area amid rising cases of vandalism that has seen major water connections being tempered with.
The sentiments were expressed at a community meeting organized by the Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA) and the Water Point User Committees (WPUC) in the area.
Apart from being hit by incessant water shortages, the suburb has also seen a steep increase in cases of vandalism of water pipes, which has created problems in the local water distribution network.
“As community leaders we are going to work together with our local District Office, reporting cases of vandalism to council property specifically water pipes and which is increasing non-revenue water”, said Mr Kagoro CHRA Ward 21 Coordinator.
Water bursts have emerged in Mabvuku as the local authority resumed pumping water into the area after years of dry taps with some main water pipes leaking.
Previously, Water Point User Committees were focusing on managing public water points especially boreholes.
The latest development will see Water Point User Committees and council working together in reducing non-revenue water through reporting incidences of vandalism and protecting municipal water infrastructure.
CHRA welcomes the development as it promotes community stewardship in water resource management.
Community Water Alliance, Hardlife Madhuku bemoaned the continuous destruction of water infrastructure.
“To deal with the problem, we need to understand and appreciate the root cause of this problem. For Mabvuku, I have seen there are a lot of people who want to access from the main water distribution pipes because they are not receiving it from the taps (hence intentionally burst the pipes),” said Mudzingwa.
“The other cause is that belief that this is City of Harare infrastructure, they don’t feel ownership to the infrastructure,”
“To deal with this, we must first improve our water distribution and allocation by give priority to Mabvuku because one of the reason they vandalize the priority is because they want to access water,”
“We also need to set the correct precedence by making sure that those who are caught vandalizing are dealt with by the law. We should ensure we instill a culture of community stewardship in the water infrastructure. People should accept that its our infrastructure, we are part and parcel of service delivery. It is our infrastructure so as to address that challenge,” added Mudzingwa.
Water infrastructure across all major towns and cities are in a deplorable state after years of neglect from local authorities since the economic downturn at the turn of the millennium.