Water crisis hits Masvingo; residents without supplies for a week

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By Masvingo Correspondent

MASVINGO residents have gone for a week without running water supplies in a crisis the outgoing mayor has blamed on the government.

Taps have been dry in all suburbs since Wednesday last week, forcing residents to rely on unsafe sources and at risk of water-borne diseases.

Long queues have been the order of the day at the few boreholes drilled by non-governmental organisations which were however condemned as unsafe for human usage.

Council authorities said the crisis was due to a breakdown at the city’s decades-old main pumping station.

Director of health Zvapano Munganasa urged residents to first boil water the boreholes before consumption.

“The city of Masvingo advises that the fault at Bushmead Waterworks has, unfortunately, not been rectified,” he said.

“While efforts continue to fix the pumps, water bowsers are distributing water to the worst affected areas. Kindly bear with us during this period.”

Outgoing mayor, Hubert Fidze government for the crisis saying council’s proposal of securing a standby pump for the city was rejected by the Harare administration.

“We are in a water crisis which should be obviously addressed with the urgency it requires,” he said.

“This scenario has never been experienced over the past decades. However, this should be a wake-up call for the city and corrective measures should be always available.

“There should be a standby pump and all efforts have to be made to circumvent the bureaucracy and purchase a new pump as a matter of urgency with the assistance of the government.”

In 2016 council signed a $50 million deal with a Chinese financial partner to augment the city’s water pumping capacity.

The loan was supposed to be repaid in 20 years as government was the underwriter, but nothing has materialized to date.