Masvingo Bureau — The cash-strapped Masvingo municipality is considering temporarily freezing development of new residential areas until the completion of water works. The country's oldest town has a housing backlog of 15 000 people who are on the waiting list. The municipality is undertaking a US$45 million water augmentation programme that will guarantee adequate water supplies.
The city has of late been battling crippling water shortages due to a ballooning population, amid reports that the existing water conveyance and pumping infrastructure was meant for less than 20 000 residents, but the city's population is estimated at 100 000.
Council officials this week disclosed that discussions were under way to pass a resolution freezing opening of new residential areas until the water supply capacity was increased.
The officials said that council was looking for money to bankroll the ambitious multi-million-dollar water augmentation programme that will double water pumping and conveyance capacity to 60 megalitres per day from the current 30 megalitres, but the city's mayor, Alderman Femius Chakabuda, aid council had not yet reached the stage of freezing development of new residential areas.