Zimbabwe: Minister Raps Municipality Over Marondera Water Crisis

10 April 2020

Government has raised concern over water problems in Marondera, saying the availability of water was key to fight COVID-19.

Speaking at a provincial COVID-19 taskforce evaluation meeting in Marondera, Mashonaland East Provincial Affairs Minister Aplonia Munzverengwi said the taskforce was not happy with how Marondera Municipality was handling the water situation.

"I am not happy with how Marondera Municipality is handling the water situation in the city," she said.

"We want to make sure how they are using devolution funds in terms of water, they should come up with a comprehensive report on how much funds they allocate for water supply."

Minister Munzverengwi said Marondera Municipality should prioritise supply of clean water to residents and water remained a pertinent issue, especially in this fight against the spread of Covid-19.

"People need to wash their hands as advised by the Ministry of Health and Child Care so that we avoid the spread of Covid-19," she said. "We want to establish washing points, especially in market areas where there is high movement of people, so we cannot do that without water."

In response to the water crisis, acting town clerk Rinashe Nyamuzihwa said the water pump at Wenimbe Dam was designed to pump 8 700 cubic meters per day, yet demand was at 30 000 cubic metres per day.

Mr Nyamuzihwa said they had demarcated Marondera into three zones which they supply with water for 12 hours per day.

He said apart from fault at the water pump, they were also facing a challenge with water treatment chemicals, with the town only having 10 days' supply.

Speaking at the same occasion, Mashonaland East medical director Dr Simukai Zizhou said they had managed to establish six Covid-19 isolation camps in the province.

"We have manage to come up with six isolation hotspot areas within our province, in Murehwa, at Nyamapanda Border Post, Chivhu, Mutoko, Murehwa district hospital and Marondera provincial hospital," he said.

"We have provided our health personnel with protective clothing and we are encouraging those who suspect that they have Covid-19 to stay at home and contact their nearest health centre."

Provincial coordinator Mr Tavabarira Kutamahufa urged shop owners to ensure that their customers practiced social distancing.

He said they were now limiting the number of people receiving food aid under the Government's relief programme to less than 40 at a time.

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