Power cuts worsen Chinhoyi water shortages

Excessive load-shedding by Zesa has worsened water problems facing Chinhoyi residents, who have gone for days without supplies.

In a statement on Wednesday, Chinhoyi Municipality attributed the worsening water supply situation to incessant power cuts that have resulted in suppressed
water treatment and pumping capacity at the waterworks plant.

“Our tanks are not being filled to 100% capacity, hence the unavailability of water in most parts of Chinhoyi. Currently, progress is taking place at the
waterworks, building pressure to normalise the situation,” the local authority said.

Council assured residents of “reasonable” water supplies as the local authority battles to contend with the dire situation.

But for 76-year-old Emelda Gumunyu, of Hunyani township, the daily hustle of fetching water is draining life out of her frail body.

An asthma patient, Gumunyu, who lives with her minor grandchildren, has become accustomed to waking up between 1am and 2am, as this was the only time clean,
potable water is flowing out of her tap.

“Daily, I need an average of ten 20-litre buckets. If I do not wake up on time, it means we would have to go for the whole day without water to use for
cooking, bathing, doing laundry or flushing the toilet,” Gumunyu told NewsDay Weekender yesterday.

Her toil resonated with the generality of Chinhoyi dwellers, who “moonlight” to get the precious liquid.

Water taps dry up as early as 4am, forcing residents to find alternative, but unsafe water bodies, such as shallow wells.

The most affected areas are the sprawling suburb of Chikonohono, Ruvimbo, Rujeko, Hunyani, Katanda and Gadzema.

Residents interviewed by NewsDay Weekender castigated council for failing to prioritise water provision, arguing the local authority should buy water bowsers
to service locations, especially those situated on high ground, where supplies do not reach the areas.

The town has one water bowser and as a stop-gap measure to ease the water shortages. The council has banned the use of hose pipes.

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