Water crisis hits Mutare


Mutare has been hit by a crippling water crisis leaving most suburbs without running water since last week amid fears of an outbreak of diseases such as cholera and typhoid, Business Times can report.

The Mutare City Council, however, blamed the crisis on burst pipes.

“We have enough water for the entire city at our reservoirs at the Christmas Pass. But, the problem lies with the distribution,” Mutare mayor, Blessing Tandi, said this week.

He added: ‘’The challenge we are facing as a council is our pipes are too old and are too small to sustain the high pressure of the water from the reservoirs. As a result, we experience numerous and regular bursts thereby affecting the distribution of the water.’’

Tandi said the water bursts were so frequent that there was a need to procure new pipes.

“We need to acquire new pipes to service the old ones but we are currently working on laying the Dangamvura water pipeline to end the perennial water shortage in that suburb,” Tandi said.

Mutare resident Tinashe Sigauke said the council should prioritise water availability in residential areas to control the spread of communicable diseases.

“It is time the city council realises that water is life and has to be available at all times. Service delivery in safe drinking water is a necessity particularly in an urban setting,” Sigauke said.

Rosemary Muzanechita of the Mutare Residents and Ratepayers Association said some women and children were resorting to fetching water from unsafe water bodies owing to the shortage currently being experienced across the city’s residential areas.

“We appeal to the city fathers to avail water bowsers to supply the water to the needy areas at any given time,” Muzanechita told Business Times.

She added: “Another alternative would be to have the council drill boreholes at strategic points so that communities can get safe water for their domestic use.’’

The Mutare city council had promised to carry a water augmentation programme meant to help increase water supply for its more than 400 000 residents.

But, the plan is yet to be implemented.

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