Zimbabwe

Water project that never was

by Marcus Tawona

Residents of Dangamvura high density suburb will have to go another festive season holiday without water after the local authority failed to meet its August deadline to connect water to one of the city`s oldest suburb.

Water woes will spill into 2015 with no solution in sight as the cash-strapped water authority continues to give flimsy excuses.

The local authority has set August this year as deadline to connect water to Dangamvura, where residents have spends years without access to clean water despite being levied for the service by the local authority every month.

Residents have resorted to boreholes drilled by donors while in some areas women and children get up at midnight to fetch water and do their laundry.

“These people have been giving us empty promises for years. We are very worried that if we don’t take action now nothing will happen. We have been paying water bills but actually there is no water coming out of our taps. I have been relying on borehole water for years,” said Mike Mwonzora, a local resident.

His sentiments were echoed by Ruth Maenzanise, who said lack of access to clean water had put lives at risk.

“Women have been on the receiving end of this water crisis. We are forced to wake up midnight to fetch water for domestic use. It’s terrible. We need to demonstrate against the council so that our voices can be heard,” she said.

Before former mayor Brian James was sacked by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo, the council indicated that it needed $300,000 to complete the water project. But city engineer Donald Nyatoti recently said the project needed a whopping $700,000

City Town Clerk Obert Muzawazi said lack of finance was hindering the completion of projects envisioned in the strategic plan for 2005-2009. “We have been working on a number of water projects in the city. We have constructed water reservoir in Chikanga Phase 3 and there is now high level supply for Greenside reservoir. We will now be focusing on Dangamvura,” he said.