By Virginia Njovo
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has for the past three weeks been battling pump breakdowns, electrical faults and theft of components at its intake tower installed on Lake Mutirikwi, leaving the people of Nemanwa growth point without water right into the fourth week.
Distressed residents of the sprawling growth point told TellZim News they had been fetching water in the nearby Munzviru stream whose waters are significantly polluted.
“These have been very difficult weeks for us because we don’t have a better alternative source to the stream whose water might be suitable for laundry but definitely not for drinking and cooking. The water has become dirtier in recent weeks due to the increase in numbers of people going to the stream,” said one resident of the area.
Due to deep-seated grievances in services delivery, some residents have organised themselves and formed the Nemanwa Residents and Ratepayers Association (Nerra) which has since submitted a letter of grievances to Masvingo Rural District Council (RDC).
The organisation wants Masvingo RDC to drill boreholes for residents as water supplies from Zinwa are hardly reliable.
When contacted for comment, Zinwa Masvingo regional manager Stanley Nazombe said he understood residents’ protestations as his organisation had been grappling with many challenges over the weeks.
“There was a whole array of problems in our supply system. We had to move our pump to a different place in the lake in response to declining water levels. We then had a breaking down in the pumping system, and then an electrical fault. We had also experienced theft of some components in the pumping system and all this built up the crisis we had. I am confident though that supplies are most likely to be restored today (June 22) as everything is now in place,” said Nazombe.
He said Great Zimbabwe Hotel, which also receives water through the same supply system, had assisted in the restoration efforts.
However, the following day (June 23) many residents reported that they still had not received any water.