By Tonderai Saharo
THE Masvingo city council has reverted back to supplying residents with portable water twice a week due to limited capacity to pump enough supplies of the necessity by the local authority’s obsolete equipment.
Acting Town Clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa said the water shedding schedule was with immediate starting this week.
Mukaratirwa also noted there was now “high water demand as a result of high summer temperatures”.
“Water demand is estimated at 45 megalitres per day (ML/Day) against a capacity of 30ML/day,” he said.
“As a result, to ensure equitable distribution of water, the council has zoned the city into three water supply zones that will be supplied with water on two specified days of the week.
“This will facilitate the supply of water to each zone twice a week.”
The local authority also said constant major pipe bursts from the treatment plant, Bushmead water works, was a major contributor to the water crisis.
This is as a result of the city’s old pumping equipment which require urgent replacement.
Political bickering between government and the MDC Alliance led council has seen a US$75 million water augmentation deal with the Chinese going up in smoke.
The Chinese had offered to fund and undertake the project once government becomes a guarantor to the loan, but five years down the line, the project has not been fruitful.
No concrete measures are in place to mitigate the water crisis despite the local authority drawing its raw water in Lake Mutirikwi, one of the country’s largest inland water bodies.
With the relaxation of the Covid-19 induced lockdown restrictions, residents fear that the water crisis will eventually lead to a health disaster as more people will crowd the few community boreholes in the city for the precious liquid.