Masvingo City water woes a ticking time bomb
Category : NEWS
Green Institute is concerned by the water situation in Masvingo which has become critical over the past one month leaving over 50000 residents at high risk of contracting water related diseases such as cholera and typhoid after drinking water from unprotected water sources. In Masvingo urban, the supply of clean and adequate water is erratic and intermittent. In worst case scenarios, the residents can go for as long as a week or two without running water in their homesteads. The persistence of acute water shortages has left majority of the resident in serious panic mode about their health. The most affected suburbs are Runyararo West and Mucheke which have gone up to 2 weeks without water.
On the other hand, the general flow of piped water in Masvingo urban is somehow compromised. In cases where the city council supply water, the trends indicates that, it is usually pumped at night, mostly midnight and dries up at dawn. With these unstable and unfriendly times at hand, the water have been sarcastically, referred to as, ‘nocturnal water’ since it appears and disappears at night. On record, studies done elsewhere have indicated that the consequences of water scarcity usually have unfavorable consequences to humanity. Therefore, waiting for these undesirable episodes to hit Masvingo is one of the unwanted trends in the progressing human development scale, and, should be avoided at whatever cost.
To mitigate the water shortages the residents has to go for borehole water which they can only get after waiting for between 2-6 hours. Residents interviewed have shown some reservations on the cleanliness of the water since these boreholes we’re drilled for gardening purposes by (ACTION FAIM) and not recommended for consumption. Netsai not her real name said’ if you check most of these boreholes are located in wetlands within the vicinity of leaking sewer pipes thereby increasing the chances of ground cross contamination’.
Mr Mahachi said one borehole in Target kopje was condemned some time back and the handle was removed so that people could not use. But he said he was surprised that it now has a handle and people are fetching water from the borehole but the question is whether water tests were carried again to certify the water as clean.
Asked for comment Engineer Mukaratirwa who is the Acting Town Clerk said “the electric motor for the Bushmead Water Works Intake Works was installed yesterday and the pump is now running. Unfortunately there was low voltage in the line from 1am coupled with load shedding at 5am. Therefore the benefits of the second pump are not being felt.”
Green Institute recommends that there should be borehole mapping and testing by an independent organization to certify if the water is safe for human consumption to avert a possible health catastrophe. The city council having been blaming ZESA for load shedding, it’s high time they invest in solar energy for water pumps. This in the long run is environmentally sustainable and cheap as compared to electricity. The local council should be allowed to decentralize from the central government and also to invest in private- public partnerships which will see direct investment in water related issues.
We also urge the Province at large to adopt climate change mitigatory strategies such as sustainable environmental management, reforestation, smart agriculture techniques which are meant to avert climate change .The recent El Nino has been attributed to climates change and everyone needs to play his part.