Gweru – Residents have declared a state of emergency as the city has gone for more than three weeks without water.
The water crisis has been bedeviling the city for close to a decade now with the latest development coming only three weeks back after council failed to pump water continuously.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association together with Gweru Residents Forum said residents had moved to denounce council’s failure to pump water.
GRRA director, Conelia Selipiwe said access to clean water was a basic right that was important for the survival of humanity.
“Gweru residents on Monday declared the water crisis in the Midlands capital as a state of emergency and called on central government to intervene.
“This comes as Gweru City Council has failed to provide water to its residents for close to two weeks now owing to a 600mm burst pipe at Gwenhoro dam.
“It’s very saddening to note that poor service delivery by GCC is forcing residents to resort to unsafe water sources exposing them to waterborne diseases.
“Today the residents of this city declare the water situation a state of emergency and request that the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works as well as the Minister of State for Midlands to intervene,” said Selipiwe.
GRF director, Charles Mazorodze, said the water crisis had reached a point where the local authority could not address the problem on its own but required external forces to chip in.
“The current water situation in the city has reached an alarming level, it’s a serious crisis we have at this point and it requires other stakeholders to come in and assist.
“If the government intervenes then it means more players will come in, even private players will come in,” said Mazorodze.
GCC in a public notice on Saturday said its workforce was on the ground working on the burst pipe. The local authority projected work to be complete by Wednesday (November 15, 2023)
“We are dewatering and excavating hence, we might finish maintenance and repairs on Wednesday 15 November 2023,” read the notice.
A development expert, Cosmas Mukanganiki said the water situation in Gweru required all stakeholders’ hands on the deck to proffer solutions to the problem.