Fungai Lupande Mashonaland Central Bureau
DESPITE winning the clean water and good corporate governance award, Bindura Municipality is battling with an increase in water treatment costs due to gold panning along the river basins, Mayor Councillor Carlos Tokyo has said.
Speaking at a Zimbabwe Union of Journalists Press Club discussion held in Bindura recently, Cllr Tokyo said the council, which draws water from Mazowe River, now required triple the amount of water treatment chemicals they were using in the past.
He said the municipality owed service providers like Zesa, Zimra and Zinwa about $900 000, while ratepayers owed the municipality about $18,4 million.
“There has been a marked increase in charges of water treatment chemicals and water pumps lately,” said Cllr Tokyo.
“We need more than triple the chemicals to treat the water because of gold panning activities which are resulting in the contamination of the river.
“The existing pumps from the water tank are too old to run all day long, hence the need to buy new ones. We have found no joy from the respective suppliers, because they either demand payment in US dollars or South African rands. They are not accepting bond notes or RTGS.
“The price distortions and unstable pricing structure make it difficult to keep within the budget.
“Among other affected budgetary requirements are an ambulance, refuse compactor truck, skip litter bins, fire tender and rescue equipment, earthmoving machinery for road construction and maintenance as well as development and servicing of new stands.”
Cllr Tokyo said the municipality was grappling to meet the demands of the growing population.