-as residents declare ‘state of emergency’
Gweru City Council, Mayor Martin Chivhoko said the local authority is expecting to boost it’s water pumping capacity from the current 37 mega litres per day to 55 mega litres after installing a new transformer at the Gwenoro pumping station.
He said the City of progress has put water provision as a top priority and has been putting in place a raft measures to mitigate against any leakages.
This week, council successfully repaired one of the major burst pipe leakage of 600 mm where treated water was gushing out for several years resulting in residents going for weeks without the precious liquid.
The city’s installed capacity is being outweighed by the increasing water demand and dilapidated infrastructure.
Mayor Chivhoko said the transformer will be ready for installation this coming week as ZENT has certified it and is ready for use.
“The final tests for the transformer has been done and citified this week and we hope by Monday, we will have it at Gwenoro for installation. Our prayer is that the transformer will work so that the new high lift pumps can pump the water to Gweru residents.
“It is our hope to add another 15 to 18 Megalitres so that we can reach 53 to 55 mega litres per day. However, we can also not rule out power outages from Zesa, it’s beyond our control although publicly they are denying that they are load shedding us, but in reality they are shedding us as we sometimes go for more than three hours without power at Gwenoro water works,” he said.
However, the local authority is optimistic that it will reach the pumping capacity of 67 mega litres per day.
For that to happen, Councilor Chivhoko said council has budgeted for two more high lift pumps for Amapongokwe Dam in 2024.
He told The Midweek Watch that the local authority also need a transformer for White Waters water works to reach a pumping capacity of 4 mega litres per day from the current 2 mega litres.
He said the “pump will cost between US$20 000 to US$25 000”.
Today, (Wednesday) council will hold a special council meeting to deliberate on residents inputs to the 2024 budget before it’s adoption.
Among the critical issues to be debated, include residents call to increase the water budget and down sizing the dumpsite expenditure.
Recently, the local authority procured vehicles in an effort to improve the service delivery which is hampered by poor water delivery and refuse collection.
Meanwhile, Gweru residents associations have called on the Midlands capital to involve other stakeholders to tackle the perennial water problem.
Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA) in conjunction with the Gweru Residents Forum (GRF) said the city of progress needs to join hands with other players with expertise to expedite resolving water challenges.
“Today the residents of this city declare the water situation a state of emergency and request that the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and the Minister of State for Midlands Provincial Affairs and Devolution to intervene.
“If the government intervenes then it means more players will come in, even private players will come in,” said Selipiwe.
GRF director, Charles Mazorodze, added that “the current water situation in the city has reached alarming levels, it’s a serious crisis we have at this point and it requires other stakeholders to come in and assist.
“I think it is time for the city to reconfigure how they disseminate information on their water schedule”.