TENDAI BHEBE IN BULAWAYO
Residents in Hwange are pushing the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) to reverse its decision to install prepaid water meters saying consultations should be done with them on the issue.
Greater Hwange Residents Association coordinator Fidelis Chima said residents have rejected the pre-paid water meters as they facilitate demand management in a cruel manner amid fears of an outbreak of diseases were supplies to be cut off.
“When one cannot afford a charge he/she is simply cut off and this will result in outbreaks of diseases such as diarrhoea as there are no alternatives to water unlike electricity where you can resort to other alternatives if cut off,” Chima said.
He said Zinwa should reverse its decision of “installing pre-paid water meters and consult residents extensively through public meetings, social media platforms and any other platform that can reach a substantial number of residents before arriving at a decision of whether to install pre-paid water meters or not”.
“There was lack of extensive consultations on pre-paid and, the 10 December 2021 meeting which was attended by less than 20 people cannot be a justification to install pre- paid meters,” Chima said, adding that Zinwa had given the impression that it had already installed 10 pre-paid water meters to residents of Empumalanga as a pilot study.
Zinwa promised to give feedback of the results of the pilot project and, thereafter roll out to volunteers of the pre-paid meters, he said.
“The meeting that you invited us was meant to rubber stamp your programme.
We want to categorically state that we did not at that meeting or anywhere else agree to pre-paid water system.”
Efforts to get a comment from Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager Marjorie Munyonga were fruitless.