By Matabeleland North Correspondent
Binga: It us all smiles for Binga residents after the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) on Friday finally restored water supplies that had been disconnected in September last year for non- payment.
Zinwa, which supplies bulk water to Binga Rural District Council for distribution to residents, disconnected supplies to Emasotsheni and Govera suburbs in September as the council owed $1,5 million to the water authority in unpaid water bills.
Residents once demonstrated against Zinwa but the water authority refused to reconnect supplies unless council paid a fifth of the debt which is $300 000.
With water availability critical for residents to wash hands as a preventive measure for Covid-19, Binga residents’ lives were at risk as they had no running water coming from their taps.
Residents have been fetching water from the Zambezi River seemingly oblivious of danger of waterborne diseases and being attacked by crocodiles and hippos.
A series of meetings between residents and officials from the council and Zinwa resulted in water users agreeing to contribute towards clearing the debt and by last week, $300 000 had been paid as part of the $1,5 million debt owed to Zinwa, resulting in supplies being restored on Friday.
Some residents confirmed to NewZimbabwe.com that they now had water coming out of their taps.
Binga Residents Association representative Mays Mudenda confirmed that Zinwa had restored supplies.
“Water is now coming out and residents are excited. We thank the authorities because this comes at a time when people’s lives were at risk especially now that the water in the river is getting dirtier because of the rains,” he said.
Binga RDC’s Joshua Muzamba said the council had paid part of the money although he could not be drawn into revealing how much had been paid.
Payments to Zinwa were reportedly done last week although it could not be established if a payment plan had been made to clear the $1,2 million balance.
Water users in Binga have been paying fixed monthly bills of about $600 despite not being having the precious liquid.
Binga district has serious perennial water problems with most boreholes in the rural areas drying up during the dry season.