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Water crisis hits Gweru

By Martin Mawaya
Gweru City Council has introduced a 3 day water-rationing schedule to allow water to flow to other high-lying areas amid indications that Zinwa intends to de-commission Gwenoro dam citing low levels after an extended dry spell.

The local authority has been struggling to pump water to various suburbs in the city for many years with areas such as Mkoba Village 14,19, Daylsford, Ridgemount and Senga having gone for years without water.

The current water situation has prompted the city fathers to institute a stringent water rationing regime in a move to bring equity to all residents.
The rationing schedule released by the city council shows that most of the residents will not get water at an average of three days per week.

Residents have endured periodic water cuts since last year, blamed on low water levels at the city’s reservoirs due to several factors, among them, lack of foreign currency to purchase water purification chemicals and power outages affecting pumping capacity at its waterworks.
Town Clerk, Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza said council takes the decision to improve equity to all areas in the city at a time when water at the supply dam was low.

“The water rationing is authentic and it’s the beginning, so we are open for suggestions with the aim to improve equity in distribution of the scarce commodity,” she said.
As we make suggestions lets bear in mind that the day when valves are opened for a certain area to receive water there is time also to allow for building of pressure so that it can reach high levels,” said Gwatipedza.

The City of Gweru has been battling to find a lasting solution to the water crisis with recent council reports show that Gwenoro dam is left with 18 percent of water and will be decommissioned soon leaving the city without a supply dam.

Gweru Mayor Clr Josiah Makombe told a recent full council meeting that Gwenoro dam was going to be decommissioned soon and the city will switch to Amaphongokwe dam whose water levels are still manageable.
He pleaded with residents to use water wisely to minimize the depletion of their reservoirs.
The city has since banned the use of hosepipes and sprinklers around the city as a way of saving water.

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