Saturday, September 18, 2021

Four weeks of erratic service delivery in Masvingo


…as council introduces refuse collection schedule

Agnes Madechiwe

Masvingo residents are enduring a four week supply of unreliable water supply as the local authority struggles to maintain infrastructure at its Bushmead Water Works, TellZim has learnt. 

The city fathers who have faced stern challenges when it comes to service delivery are trying to address the water challenges currently being experienced across the city due to power problems at the water works. 

The authorities have warned that residents should brace for a four week long dry spell as engineers work on repairing the damaged transformer. 

However, council introduced a water rationing schedule which they have struggled to manage due to the extensive demand for the precious liquid especially in high density suburbs. 

Residents have resorted to boreholes while some are using water from rooftops and gutters since the city is receiving quite significant rains. 

One of the most affected areas in the city is Runyararo West high density suburb which is classified under the high lying areas has for weeks received little water supply as council fails to meet its water shedding schedule. 

Beatrice Hamadziripi, a Ward 3 resident, bemoaned council’s actions when it comes to water supply and said they have no option but to resort to boreholes and queue for water. 

“In Runyararo West we have a very sorry situation and we are not happy with what council is doing when it comes to water supply. Council gives us water once a week and here we don’t get the water as scheduled. 

“Boreholes are overcrowded especially this side because some come from Victoria Ranch and you may wake up early but sometimes we find the boreholes locked and the person in charge of that borehole will come later. On some instances they might say pressure and lock again so we might end up failing water so we plead with council to help us during these hard times,” said Hamadziripi. 

Speaking to TellZim News, Masvingo Mayor Collen Maboke confirmed that the problem needed four weeks to be solved and urged residents not to queue at boreholes to avoid the spread of COVID-19. 

“We are pumping at 50 percent since our transformer got damaged and our engineers said they require four weeks to fix it but now we are in week two so hopefully soon they will be done. As council we are now embarking on water rationing and we urge residents to use water sparingly and avoid long queues and contact at boreholes because corona virus is real and we will perish if we don’t take preventive measures,” said Maboke. 

Residents’ representative group, Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (Murra) spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba said council should act fast in dealing with the situation which is a ticking bomb for the city due to the fact that Covid-19 requires maximum hygiene practices. 

“It is appalling that council needs four weeks to fix a transformer that broke down at Bushmead Water works. This comes at a time when the country is under a Covid-19 induced lockdown and the situation needs consistent water supply. If we don’t have water in our homes how do we practice hygiene? 

“We want to say to council, what they are saying does not make sense. They must act fast to deal with this situation and as a residents we are not happy,” said Mtimba. 

Meanwhile, the local authority has introduced a refuse collection schedule and is using a tipper truck since the refuse compactors are grounded due to major breakdowns. 

Some residential areas had gone for months without refuse collection and some undesignated dumping sites were beginning to surface as residents were left with no option but to dump litter at anyplace.

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