By Tonderai Saharo
ATLEAST 40 % treated water in Masvingo is lost through leakages before reaching households, a top city official said recently.
The situation, according to Masvingo City Engineer Tawanda Gozo, is a result of the continued reliance on old and obsolete water pumping equipment by the country’s oldest urban authority.
Gozo told NewZimbabwe.com the crisis has impacted negatively on council’s capacity to supply portable water to residents.
“We are failing to account for at least 40 % of treated water that we pump on a daily basis,” Gozo said on the sidelines of a recent tour at Bushmead water works.
“Some of the water is lost due to leakages along the pipelines which we constantly do repairs on while some is lost due to illegal connections on the part of residents.”
He said the local authority was failing to account for at least 10 mega litres of treated water daily.
The city official said council was pumping 25 mega litres of treated water daily at the Bushmead water works but only 15 mega litres was managing to reach rate payers.
This is despite the purification process costing council nearly $500 000 per month mainly through chemical purchase.
The situation has further dented hopes for a more reliable water supply schedule as residents are now receiving the previous liquid for a few hours only twice a week.
He added that the local authority is now pinning its hopes on securing funding for the water argumentation Phase 2 that will see new pipes being installed.
A local resident pressure group Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (MURRA) said it was time the local authority put its house in order.
“It’s sad that such amounts of treated water were being lost when it’s actually expensive to buy chemicals.
“We urge council to replace old infrastructure, old pipes with new ones as a solution,” Murra spokesperson Godfrey Mutimba said.
Dry tapes in the country’s first urban settlement continue to confront over 200 000 residents who are at risk of an outbreak of waterborne diseases, if the city fathers continued failing to address the crisis.
This is despite Masvingo city council drawing its water from one of the country’s largest inland dams, Lake Mutirikwi.