1 November 2012

Zimbabwe: Ruwa Residents Cry Foul

Ruwa's over 120 000 residents feel let down by their local board which is failing to provide them with water, exposing them to waterborne diseases in the process. Residents from all the town's suburbs are now resorting to the few communal water points in the town. They expressed dismay with the

MDC-T dominated local board, accusing it of abusing funds meant for water projects.

Government, through the public sector investment programme, gave the Ruwa Local Board US$3,5 million for the water augmentation project.

The funds were meant to reticulate water from the Norah Valley Dam in northeastern Ruwa to a holding dam en-route to the treatment plant.

But the project is taking longer than projected.

Mr Fanuel Chirume of Zimre Park said they last received council water last year.

"We get water from wells, but some of the wells are drying up," he said.

Ms Linnet Makoni said the water problems presented enormous challenges for women as they had to wake up early to queue for water.

Mr Bernard Madondo from Zimre Park said some children were forced to miss school while on water errands.

"The hygiene in the schools is heavily compromised when there is no water. Something should be done," he said.

Water merchants who sell 5 000 litres for US$60 have been blamed for sabotaging the few communal boreholes in the area.

Council chairman Clr Phineas Mushayavanhu said water would soon be available in the town.

"Waterflow, the company contracted to do the pipes, has finished laying the pipes. We are now waiting for Zesa to install a dedicated feeder line," he said.

Clr Mushayavanhu said the US$526 000 allocated by the Ministry of Finance for the job was not yet released.

"The Ministry is saying there are other commitments that need to be paid first. We urge Government to bear with us and pay that money quickly," he said.

Mr Mushayavanhu said the Ministry had issued a certificate of payment that should act as guarantor of payment.

He said he was convening meetings with residents to explain the water situation.

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