Water woes persist into the New Year despite rains

Water pump in Bulawayo

Water pump in Bulawayo

By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
03 January 2014

Despite the rains which have pounded most parts of the country over the festive season, water woes have persisted with major cities said to be still without regular supplies.

Almost all major urban centers including strategic institutions such as hospitals and businesses, experienced water cuts throughout the whole of last year.

SW Radio Africa’s correspondents said Friday that supplies were still erratic with cuts being experienced, although it has been raining daily throughout the holiday period.

In Harare residents are said to have found solace in unprotected sources as shallow wells which had dried up are now full due to rains which have been falling almost every day during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Areas such as Avondale, Borrowdale, Braeside, Hatfield, Mbare, the Central Business District and Vainona were without water throughout the Christmas period until December 27th when supplies were restored.

Residents were said to be livid with the Harare City Council for failing to notify them of the festive season cuts.

In Bulawayo, however, the council fulfilled its promises not to cut water during the Christmas period but cuts have since resumed in the last few days.

Statistics released by the Bulawayo City Council Friday showed that most dams that supply Bulawayo were still well below their full capacity as of Thursday. Of the six dams that supply Bulawayo only Insiza Mayfair is 50% full. The dam with the next highest water level is Lower Ncema, with a 45, 9% capacity. Umzingwane is the next with a mere 2, 4%. Both Inyankuni and Upper Ncema have since been decommissioned while renovations at Mtshabezi have yet to be completed.

Both Harare and Bulawayo including other small towns have been adversely affected by lack of revenue as residents continue to falter in paying their charges.
The situation has not been helped a government directive for the local authorities to cancel residents’ debts ahead of the July 31st election last year.

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