By Martin Mawaya
Member of Parliament for Gweru Urban, Brian Dube (Pictured) has blasted the central government’s failure to address the perennial water crisis that continues to haunt Gweru residents for years.
This comes after residents were hit by the Typhoid and Cholera outbreak that killed over 8 people and thousands of people hospitalised last year.
Contributing in parliament during a debate on Desiltation of Gwenoro dam, Hon Dube said Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement need to de-silt Gwenoro dam before the water crisis gets out of hand.
“Hon Minister, the report was made ten years ago and now in your explanation you are just talking of a possible new mechanism and way of doing things, which you have not given the time frame.
I am sure the risk involved is too high and so, I need specific answer which gives detail to time frame,” said Dube.
However, Deputy Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water, Climate and Rural Resettlement Douglas Karoro said the ministry is aware of the challenges, and the main hindrance in the desilting process is the lack of suitable equipment.
“With the current equipment, it will be very costly and takes many years to completely desilt large dams such as Gwenoro dam,” Karoro said.
He said his ministry is banking on the Belarus facility to bring modern equipment.
“As the ministry we are working on the Belarus facility to bring modern desilting equipment which is viable, and Gwenoro dam will be targeted among other affected dams for the desilting exercise,” he said.
“I want to assure the Honorable Member of Parliament that this time around it is not going to take ten years. This is the second Republic, we are going to be as quick as possible,” said Karoro.
Gweru is struggling to supply water to its residents due to the dilapidated equipment and siltation caused by stream bank cultivation, by the newly resettled farmers who settled along the dam’s catchment areas.
The City of Gweru reports showed that Gwenoro dam which is the major supplier of water to Gweru has left with 8 months of water.