Zvishavane Shuts Down Public Toilets As Water Woes Bite

By Mark Mhukayesango

ZVISHAVANE, November 26, 2015-The TOWN here council has temporarily shut down public toilets due
to a serious water crisis that has hit the asbestos mining town where
running water is only accessible at midnight, Radio VOP has learnt.
The temporary closure of the public toilets has led residents to using
undesignated places to relieve themselves ,a situation that would
spark a cholera crisis in the town.
Vendors have been hit the most as they use the water to keep their
produce fresh , whilst using the toilets for convenience.
The forced closure of public toilets was sparked by the shortage of
running water to clean the toilets and also to keep the ablution
facilities clean.
This has sparked outrage among the residents who say council should
devise a plan to ensure constant water supply.
“We received good rains last season and it is the council’s mandate to
harness the water resources. Now they are clueless on how to save the
situation,” a resident fumed.
Critical water shortages have been reported at Shabani Mine and
Mashava where hundreds of former mine workers reside.
Zvishavane Urban Residents and Rate Payers Association (ZURRA) vice
chairperson Andrew Utonga said residents are living in fear of
contracting diseases like Cholera due to the water shortage which has
led many to source alternative sources of water.
“Council is failing to clean the toilets due to the water shortages
and it would be folly for us to expect the same. So the temporary
closure of the toilets will prevent cholera, whilst council seek ways
to improve water supply,’ said Utonga.
“Our tapes have run dry and we can only get water during the midnight
which is appalling,”he said.
Utonga however said residents have given council 14 days to restore
normal water supplies.
“We are giving council 14 days to clear this mess because we are
paying bills every month,” he fumed.
Residents have continued to receive water bills yet there are not
receiving any water supplies.
Utonga said townships like Maglass, Kandodo and Nil have been affected
by the water crisis.
“We have had complaints over the past months of the dire water
situation which needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency,’ said
Zvishavane Town Secretary Tinoda Mukudu says told Radio VOP that
council is working to restore water supplies in the town.
“Plans are underway to restore water supplies, but residents should
bear with us. We are trying to find partners who can help us with
drilling boreholes,” he said.
“The public toilets will be reopened as soon as water supplies get
back to normal
The Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program has been assisting
Zvishavane and surrounding towns to supply clean water since it is a
human right according to the United Nations.
The increase in housing facilities has also precipitated the need for
water in Zvishavane , with the recent relocation of the Midlands State
University campus to Mashava set to increase the demand for water as
over a thousand people have been added to the population.
Zvishavane is in a catch 22 situation after residents rejected a $6,5
million budget which is meant to improve water supplies due to
allegations on corruption where residents are demanding the 2015
expenditure statements