By Itai Muzondo
CHIREDZI- The perennially dry town of Chiredzi has been hit by yet another round of water cuts that has seen some areas going for as long as two weeks without water amid indications council does not have a long term plan to remedy the situation.
Residents blasted council for implementing fictitious maintenance work to hide their supply deficiencies, with Tshovani high density surburb which has gone for one week without water as of now while Makondi is the hardest hit going with dry tapes for two weeks.
“They are taking us for granted by claiming they are doing maintenance work yet burst pipes at the show grounds remain unattended,” said a Makondi resident.
“We are spending long hours queuing at the few boreholes available. We feel let down by council and this may spell health disaster,” said the resident.
Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association (CHIRRA) Chairperson Josphat Tizirai said there could not be any long term solution to the crisis unless council comes up with alternatives.
“We once discussed with council proposals of building a water treatment plant that would draw water directly from Chiredzi River to reduce the current overreliance on the canal systems built by whites several decades ago but nothing has materialised as yet,” said Tizirai.
“They need to look at what can be done to implement the project since the systems in place cannot meet the requirements of the day. As for now, we can only hope that water is restored to residents as soon as possible,” said Tizirai.
Chiredzi has experienced persistent water shortages over the years partly due to its location in the semi-arid lowveld, but also due to aging infrastructure and lack of rehabilitation.
Ward 3 councilor, Tarusenga Makamba acknowledged the problems, but maintained council was doing maintenance work on the city’s feeder canals and justified the long time the maintenance work is taking, saying the exercise needs time.
.“This problem is due to the shutdown at the supply canals due extensive cleaning and maintenance work we are doing there. There is nothing untoward in all that, it’s a perfectly normal exercise” said Makamba.