At least 80 residential houses in Pumula Northchave gone for three weeks without electricity after a transformer was gutted by fire early in the year.
The incident which happened on January 5, also affected Pumula High School.
“It was on 5 January, around 2am when we were woken up by the transformer which had caught fire. We managed to contact the fire brigade as quickly as we could but I guess it was too late as the damage had been done,” said Ephraim Moyo a resident.
“We have spent close to a month without electricity and this is really affecting our livelihoods, school children are now forced to bath with cold water in the morning as we can not afford to buy firewood.
“Our refrigerators are not working, this automatically makes life hard for us as this means we have to buy meat and other commodities on a daily basis and its really straining us.”
Moyo added that the electrical fault is also affecting learning activities at Pumula High School.
“Even Pumula High School, the school needs to fully function so that our children can do their work,” he said.
“We are appealing to the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) if they can have mercy and help by replacing our transformer.”
Bulawayo Acting Chief Fire Officer, Linos Phiri confirmed the incident, though he could not state the value of the property damaged.
“Yes fire Brigade attended to the case, the transformer is the one that was badly damaged,” said Phiri.
Contacted for a comment, Ward 17 Councillor Sikhululekile Moyo said she was aware of the issue as she been making follow-ups together with community leaders but has not received a satisfactory answer from the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA).
“It is TRUE, about 80 families in Pumula North are facing challenges with electricity after their transformer was damaged.
“We visited ZESA offices a week ago to get clarity on when they are going to repair the transformer and to be honest, we never got satisfactory answers as they referred all challenges to the deteriorating economy,” said Cllr Moyo.
Efforts to get a comment from ZESA spokesperson, Fullard Gwasira were not fruitful as his mobile number was not available.