Masvingo city council is at sixes and sevens after the the city’s main pump broke down leaving the city dry for close to a week now without the precious liquid leaving the city at risk on an outbreak of water borne diseases.
The city’s population has ballooned to over a 100 000 residents who last had water supplies last Wednesday, prompting people to scrounge for water in unprotected sources and officials saying are they are working flat out to ensure the water situation returns to normalcy.
Director of Health, Zvapano Munganasa, said the fault at the pumping station had not been rectified and urged people to first boil water they are fetching from the boreholes before consumption, while council’s fire department will be providing water bowsers to residents
“The city of Masvingo advises that the fault at Bushmead Waterworks has unfortunately not been rectified. While efforts continue to fix the pumps, water bowsers are distributing water to the worst affected areas. Kindly bear with us during this period,” Munganasa said in a statement.
The few boreholes drilled by local non-governmental organisations in the city’s which council’s health department condemned as not safe for human usage in suburbs are now overwhelmed with long, winding queues of residents in search of the precious liquid, putting the city at risk of an out break of water borne diseases.
Outgoing mayor, Hubert Fidze said the prolonged unavailability of water supplies was due to a fault at the pumping station that saw the city’s pumping capacity go down to below 50 % and blamed government’s bureaucracy in shooting down council’s proposal of securing a standby pump for the city.
“We are in a water crisis which should be obviously addressed with the urgency it requires, this scenario has never been experienced over the past decades. However this should be a wake up call for the city and corrective measures should be always available, there should be a standby pump and all efforts has to be brought to circumvent the bureaucracy and purchase an new pump as a matter of urgency with the assistance of the government ” Fidze said.
In 2016 the local authority signed a $50 m deal with a Chinese financial partner, to augment the city’s pumping capacity and the loan was supposed to be repaid in 20 years as government was the guarantor but nothing has materialized to date.