By Tonderai Saharo
THE Masvingo City Council has suspended all water rationing schedules in the city to ensure residents and businesses have access to the precious liquid during the current 21-day national lockdown aimed at fighting the spread of coronavirus.
The local authority has for a number of years been struggling to supply its 10 council wards with regular supplies with some households receiving potable water only twice a week.
This forced residents to rely on boreholes and shallow wells for water.
However, Acting Masvingo Town Clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa said since local authorities were classified as essential service providers during the national lockdown, the city was obliged to provide regular water supplies to residents.
“In line with Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020 (Public Health Control COVID-19 Containment and Treatment, the City of Masvingo has suspended water shedding and all areas within the city will receive constant water supplies,” Mukaratirwa said.
Meanwhile, the government has with immediate effect, directed all local councils to allow council-run health centres to be used by the Health Ministry as part of the COVID-19 response.
This was announced by Local Government Minister July Moyo.
In a letter addressed to all mayors, local town board and rural council chairpersons, Moyo said the decision was reached as a result of the intensity and magnitude posed by COVID-19.
“Given the magnitude and intensity posed by COVID-19 pandemic on public health and the economy at large, I am invoking Section 23 of the Civil Protection Act Chapter 10:06 of 1989 to empower all provincial development coordinators to requisition all designated health facilities within their areas of jurisdiction for immediate use by the Ministry of Health,” said Moyo.