By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
CHEGUTU residents who have experienced perennial water shortages, are set to heave a sigh of relief following installation of a transformer at the raw water source to feed into the town’s supply dam.
This will ensure uninterrupted all-year-round piped water.
During the rainy season, Chegutu harnesses raw water from Mupfure river which is then pumped to fill Cliffton dam for use during dry spells.
A Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) transformer situated along Mupfure river recently broke down resulting in council being unable to harvest water, a development that saw water levels recede in the supply dam.
This inadvertently resulted in water shortages hitting most residential suburbs such as Pfupajena as council was treating and supplying way below the town’s water demand.
All this is set to end following the installation this week of a 1, 6 MVA transformer at Pooldam to pump into Cliffton dam at a rate of 0, 8 megalitres per hour.
Chegutu Municipality’s engineer Nyarumbu told NewZimbabwe.com, “The transformer is for the raw water supply. Chegutu’s potable water comes from Cliffton Dam which is an off-river dam. Water is pumped from Mupfure river when it is flowing during the rainy season into Cliffton Dam.
“The dam can be only recharged by pumping using the transformer to be installed by ZESA. Currently, Cliffton Dam is not being recharged since the transformer is broken.”
Nyarumbu said the transformers at the water treatment plant and the raw water pump station owned by council were, however, functional.
He said the town could have experienced water shortages, particularly during the coming dry season, if the problem was not rectified.
“The impact of broken down transformer was going to be felt in the coming months if ZINWA failed to recharge Cliffton off-river dam.”
Chegutu West legislator, Dexter Nduna, was pleased with the latest development.
“This marks a new chapter for Chegutu water supply which had reached ‘dead water’ stage…our 500KVA transformer was down but now we appreciate the work by ZESA to replace by installing a 1, 6MVA,” said Nduna.
Chegutu Municipality, led by town clerk Alex Mandigo, has previously embarked on water augmentation projects, some funded by international development partners, but continues to fight crippling water woes.
In the 2021 national budget, Treasury allocated a paltry $3, 5 million to the local authority for water and sewerage reticulation systems rehabilitation.