By Mark Mhukayesango
SHURUGWI,November 02, 2015-As the dry spell persists, Shurugwi town council has resorted to disused mine shafts for water as the mining town’s water reservoirs dwindle, Radio VOP has learnt.
Shurugwi has been facing water shortages in the past months as its main water source Impali dam is almost dried up.
The disused mine shafts are owned by Zimasco ,with water experts saying they contain huge quantities of water although council is set to run tests to ascertain the safety of the precious liquid.
Although this might not be a permanent solution to Shurugwi’s water problems , this comes as a relief to residents who have resorted to contaminated wells.
Speaking to Radio VOP ,Shurugwi Residents Association, Secretary General Tinashe Chitakunye said residents have gone for weeks without water, a situation which he added would result in outbreak of disease.
“We have gone for weeks without water and the situation is appalling. If the mine shafts have enough water, council should expedite the process of drawing the water before Cholera descends on us,” Chitakunye said.
Residents last week called upon the town council to expedite the process of harnessing water from the disused mine shafts.
“We plead with council to look into our situation with urgency because we do not know when the rains will come,” said Chitakunye.
Philda Gwaradzimba , a resident recently dug a well beside her home as water woes seemed endless.
The well is for household use ,although she has to boil drinking water before consumption.
“Water problems led me to resort to fetching water from an unprotected well. I boil the water and also treat it with water pills so that it’s safe for my children,” Gwaradzimba said.
She said council should look into the residents’ plight.
“We are already facing power problems, now we have double trouble. Council should do something because we are paying rates,” she added.
Shurugwi Town council chairperson,Tsungai Makore said the mine shafts have huge quantities of water but had not ascertain the amount for planning purposes.
“We have identified a number of mine shafts which have huge quantities of raw water which we think we could make use of-looking at the water crisis that we are facing,” Makore said
“We are however testing the water to ascertain the kind of treatment that it would require because it might contain harmful substances,” said Makore.
The disused mine shafts are believed to have been dumped about two years ago and have accumulated raw water from rains.
Shurugwi Town council has begun water 48 hours water shedding as water woes bite.
Water expert with the University of Zimbabwe ,Webster Gumindoga said water from mine shafts is harzadous to health ,urging Shurugwi council to exercise caution.
“Mine shafts contain chemicals like cyanide which are harmful to health. So the council should not rely on a single test because this may be detrimental to residents’ health,” said Gumindoga who also urged the city’s health department to take the health risk seriously.
Last week scores if residents were seen rushing to the mine shafts to fetch the precious liquid ,with health experts cautioning the water thirst Shurugwi dwellers of health risks.
“Water from such sources is highly dangerous ,hence due diligence is important,” said Gumindoga