Erratic water supply, measles outbreak hit Gutu

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By Clayton Shereni I Masvingo Correspondent

GUTU residents are up in arms with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) after enduring two weeks without residential running water supplies after a pump broke down at the town’s waterworks station.

Locals have now resorted to a few boreholes dotted in the area for water supplies.

Furious residents told this publication that they want council to take over water reticulation, but ZINWA is still holding on.

Gutu United Residents and Ratepayers Association (Gurra) chairperson, Lloyd Mupfudze, expressed disappointment saying devolution wasn’t being implemented hence the government parastatal should walk the talk and end the perennial water woes in their area.

“ZINWA should attend to breakdowns early but because they don’t have a workshop in Gutu it takes them time to come and repair a broken pump,” he said.

“This is where you hear us advocating for devolution of power because we want leaders who are accountable to the people. If council was in charge, it was going to be easy to hold them accountable because councillors are always on the ground.”

ZINWA spokesperson, Marjorie Munyonga, said they are working to install another pump and they have since rectified the problem.

“We had breakdown of our pump and electric motor which took one week to solve,” she said.

“We have since repaired the pump and pumping resumed yesterday (August 17). We are also upgrading the station and we will be installing new pumps that pump more water to Gutu.”

Meanwhile, the area is battling to control the spread of measles which has engulfed some parts of the country.

At least five cases have been confirmed in Gutu, Nyazvidzi area where all the five children have reportedly died.

Contacted for comment on what they were doing to avert further spread of the disease in rural Gutu, Ministry of Health and Child Care spokesperson, Donald Mujiri, referred all questions to the Provincial Medical Director (PMD).

“You can talk to the PMD, he is on the ground. I will also have to talk to him first and get back to you,” said Mujiri.

Shamhu asked to be called after an hour since he was in a meeting.

“I am in a meeting, you can call me after an hour,” he said.

However, Shamhu did not pick up calls when further called for comment.

A measles outbreak has hit the country with authorities blaming the calamity on apostolic sect gatherings and beliefs.

Many of the affected apostolic sects do not believe in modern medicine despite high cases amongst their children.