Sifelani Tsiko recently in MATOBO
THe southern part Matobo District has been without electricity for nearly five months after thieves stole seven kilometres of cables, with essential services remaining down until Zesa can reconnect the area.
Obey Chaputsira, the Matobo district administrator said the non-availability of power meant Maphisa District Hospital, the Government complex, Arda’s Antelope Irrigation Scheme, schools and clinics were badly hit and had to curtail services.
“The southern part of Matobo District stretching from Kezi to Tshelanyemba has gone without power since August this year,” he said.
“As a result, the hospital mortuary is no longer functional and people are now having to travel some 120km to Bulawayo to seek specialist medical service.
“The water situation at Maphisa Growth Point is dire and people have no access to water. The Arda irrigation scheme has been affected too; investors are frustrated and the scheme has been forced to cut hectarage from 2 000 hectares to 1 000ha due to power shortages.”
Antelope was one of the best performing irrigation schemes in Matabeleland South.
“Power shortages are so severe and this is affecting many people in this part of the district,” Chaputsira said.
“We are appealing to Zesa to fix the problem soon to improve power supply in the area as this is now affecting productivity.”
Non-availability of power also affected schools, sparking fears that student performance in public exams could be affected as they had limited time for reading.