Continued power outages affecting water supplies

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Masvingo City Deputy Director of Engineering services Engineer Kudzaishe Mbetu

…plans underway to solarize Bushmead water works

Colleen Chitsa

Continued power outages by Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) have led to erratic water supply to residents, Masvingo City Deputy Director of Engineering services Engineer Kudzaishe Mbetu has said.
Speaking at a residents engagement meeting organized by Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) at Civic Center on March 24 2023, Eng. Mbetu said limited supplies of water was a result of lack of power at the council’s Bushmead water works.
“Our plant produces 30 mega liters per day provided there is power supply 24hrs per day but we are currently experiencing power shortages and with the 7 hour ZESA schedule, we can only produce around 7.7 mega liters which is not enough to provide for the whole city.
“Under normal circumstances, we give 8 hour water supply in the city by allowing water to flow from around 3am to 10am in residential areas and from around 3am to 4pm in the CBD but now with the shortages of power, we are forced to hold water for at least two days to ensure even distribution with around 16 mega liters,” said Eng. Mbetu.
During the meeting, some residents aired out their complains about how they have been experiencing water shortages for some time and Eng. Mbetu shed light on how water is distributed to every part of the city.
“Our water network is 240 km meaning the velocity of the water from the tanks to the furthest end will be moving at 1.5 meters per second so it needs 2 hours and 45 minutes to reach high laying areas like Gomba, Rujeko B shops, Rhodene, Zimre Park, KMP, Runyararo South West and other such areas.
“If we do not hold water for at least two days, it will be difficult for those living in high laying areas to get water and only low lying areas like Majange and Mucheke Rank will receive water,” he added.
Town Clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa however said council plans to erect a solar plant to power Bushmead water works are in the pipe line.
“We carried out a feasibility study to see if we can introduce solar system to power our water works and we are currently in the process of mobilizing funds in order to erect that solar power plant.
“The solar system will be an alternative plan in the event that there is ZESA power outage and this will help ensure full water supply in and around the city,” said Eng. Mukaratirwa.

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