BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has begun rolling out prepaid water meters in Karoi despite that the town has gone for several days without the precious liquid.
Last Friday, Zinwa teams were deployed to install prepaid water meters in Chiedza high-density suburb.
At least 6 000 meters will be installed as part of the first phase of the project.
The town has been experiencing water problems due to power cuts, forcing residents to use untreated water from Karoi Dam.
‘‘We are not sure if installing prepaid meters will see us getting water regularly. We have suffered enough as Zinwa has failed to provide water — a human right,’’ said Martha Rutiza, of Chiedza C suburb.
Karoi Development Agenda, (KDA), a coalition of civic organisations fighting for transparency, accountability and service delivery, said Zinwa should deliver potable water after installing prepaid meters.
‘‘Zinwa must engage Zesa over power cuts and, as residents, we no longer wait for excuses. If need be, we must approach Zesa formally to ask it to address the power cuts in an effective manner and get a lasting solution to this problem with a bill of quantities for the Zinwa line covering its water pump, which is about 7km away. Devolution funds can be used to solve our perennial water challenges in Karoi town,’’ KDA said in a statement.
The Zimbabwe National Organisations of Associations and Residents Trusts (ZNOART)’s Mashonaland West province said prepaid meters were welcome as long as Zinwa supplied water consistently.
‘‘Zinwa is delivering on their prepaid meters promise, but residents will look forward to getting water supplies without excuses,’’ ZNOART said in a statement.
Cosmo Tigere, the Zinwa spokesperson for Angwa-Rukomeshi sub-catchment area, which Karoi falls under, said: ‘‘As Zinwa, we had a test run for seven clients and it proved effective. This is an ongoing national programme and Karoi will not be left behind.
‘‘There is need to move from post-paid to prepaid water as the local trial run for seven consumers in Karoi has proved to be workable. The tokens will be available for purchase at the Zinwa offices, just like how electricity is purchased. The price of water will not be affected, it will remain the same.”
Zinwa Karoi clients leader Gift Ziweye said prepaid meters would govern how people use water.
‘‘The advantage of the prepaid water system is that it can reduce unaccounted water since you can manage your own water. All houses are expected to have these meters by end of next year,” he said.