SW Radio Africa (London)

30 October 2012

Zimbabwe: Kadoma Enters Third Week Without Water

Residents in Kadoma are facing another week without running water, with the area entering its third dry week on Tuesday.

The council is reportedly battling to fix a power transformer that operates a water pump station at Claw Dam.

This latest extended shortage follows months of intermittent water supplies and ongoing sewage problems, as well as growing health concerns. This led residents to picket at the local authority offices last week, demanding that the MDC-T run council take immediate action to solve the problem.

At least seven cases of typhoid have been reported in Kadoma in the last month. This means the number of typhoid cases reported across the country since last year have risen to almost 5,000, and the government is under pressure to stop the disease from spreading further.

13 fresh cases of typhoid have also been reported in Chegutu where the local authority has been slammed for failing for provide fresh water. More cases have been reported in different parts of Zimbabwe since last year, with the worst affected areas being the densely populated suburbs around Harare's centre, including Kuwadzana and Mufakose. Other cases were confirmed in Chitungwiza, as well as in Bindura, Mashonaland Central , Norton and Zvimba in Mashonaland West.

A recent survey by the Harare Residents Trust has shown that members of the public in high density areas are too afraid to drink the council provided water, fearing disease.

Precious Shumba, the Trust's director, told SW Radio Africa on Tuesday that most of the people they surveyed in high density areas had experienced either cholera or typhoid in their homes in recent years.

"In the high density areas the water quality leaves a lot to be desired. It has a funny brownish, greenish colour and a strange odour. And it has visible brown particles floating in it. People don't think it is safe for consumption so they use it for laundry, but they won't risk drinking it," Shumba said.

He said that the survey found that residents on higher ground areas around Harare have no access to council water, "and they entirely depend on private water suppliers who sell water to them."

"If this situation is not handled by the local government and the water ministry and authorities, it will burst beyond control," Shumba warned.

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