Gwanda forced to ration water, as power cuts bite
By Vumani Mthiyane
Gwanda Municipality has introduced water rationing schedule in the mining town citing that the ongoing power outages were affecting the supply of water to residents.
Gwanda uses electricity to pump its water from Mtshabezi river then move it using the gravitation system to supply households.
In a statement, Friday, the Town Clerk Priscilla Nkala said the massive load shedding programme introduced by the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) was affecting their capacity to pump enough water to distribute to residents.
ZETDC announced recently that it was experiencing increased power shortfalls, a demand and supply mismatch due to low water levels at Kariba Power Station and limited inputs.
Nkala also urged residents to come up with strategies of conserving water for their domestic use.
“Residents should bear with us because currently, the water levels at the weir are very low,” she said.
“Our engineers are however monitoring the situation and as such a design to ration water may be taken if the situation does not improve.
“Municipality of Gwanda would like to urge residents to conserve and use water sparingly.”
The municipality also stated that a tentative rationing schedule will be released soon.
The residents said rationing will be a challenge for them as some areas have been facing water challenges for years.
“It is worrisome to note that, at a time when some of our residents, especially in wards 5 and 6 haven’t had running water for some years, the municipality is planning to further ration water. The water rationing is likely to cause some further problems to the already troubled residents,” said Gwanda Residents Association spokesperson, Khuzi Thendele Ncube.
“Water is a constitutional right for every citizen of Zimbabwe. Absence of water brings with it a number of social problems such as general discomfort and the possibility of an outbreak of diseases like cholera, typhoid and other diarrheal diseases.
“The Gwanda Residents Association, therefore, implores the municipality to try its best in solving the current water challenges and avoid the water rationing the Town Clerk has hinted on.”
Ncube said they have since engaged the local authority and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) to ensure they address the issue.