BY HARRIET CHIKANDIWA
CHITUNGWIZA residents are complaining of water problems that have hit the dormitory town, resulting in them going for years with erratic supplies of water, after intensified water cuts resulted in residents getting the precious liquid once per week.
The residents were now bitter and yesterday, they told NewsDay in an interview that the Chitungwiza Municipality’s water supply was not reliable since it was erratic.
Most residents were resorting to unsafe water sources.
As a result, Chitungwiza Municipality has been taken to court for failing to provide residents with potable water.
Chitungwiza Residents Trust director Alice Kuvheya said they were unhappy that the municipality had continuously failed to provide residents with water even after it was dragged to court over the issue.
“We are very disappointed that even after getting a court order to compel the council to provide us with potable, safe and clean water — up to now we have residents that last received water supplies four years ago,” Kuvheya said.
“This poses risks to people’s lives during the COVID-19 lockdown period. We have asked the central government to intervene by constructing water sources for the town, but nothing has since materialised. We hope that they are going to take action before we perish.”
Chitungwiza Progressive Residents Association secretary-general Gift Kurupati said: “We receive water once every week on Saturdays, but most houses in high-density areas last received it some three to five years ago. It is painful for residents to pay for what they did not consume as the municipality is billing them every month. We are now appealing to central government to prioritise construction of Muda Dam so that we can have a permanent solution on this problem.
“They (municipality) drilled 25 plus boreholes, but it’s not enough considering that our city has a population of 800 000 people. We demand tap water because we are paying for it,” Kurupati said.
Chitungwiza Municipality spokesperson Lovemore Meya, however, said the town had upgraded its water supplies.
“The water supplies have improved. Most areas are now getting water two days in a week. What it means is that with the rains continuing, improvement in water supplies will also be noticed,” Meya said.
But some residents that spoke to NewsDay said they usually bought water from people with boreholes in the town.
“We don’t even remember the last day we received water from council. We are now buying water from those with boreholes, but it is not sufficient for daily needs. Council boreholes have dried up,” a resident, Chipo Mutsago said.
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