Vic Falls residents go for a week without water

Residents of some parts of Victoria Falls have gone for a week without water as the local authority is carrying out maintenance work to install a new pump at its pump station on the Zambezi River.

Water will be restored on Wednesday.

This comes as the Victoria Falls City Council is owed more than $500 million by defaulting ratepayers who include residents.

Victoria Falls City Council has over the years been struggling to distribute water to its residents owing to technical challenges caused by ageing equipment at the pump station.

The council engineers are replacing a pump with a new one and this affected water supplies.

The worst affected are Mkhosana residents as the city pumps water directly from Zambezi River where it is purified, to users because there is no reservoir.

Any disturbance to pumping leaves the suburb dry.

Other parts of the city are not affected.

Angry residents have accused the council management and councilors of not being considerate as their taps have run dry.

“We wonder why we go for days without water and this is compromising our health. People risk their lives walking to get water from some areas that have supplies and can be attacked by animals,” said a resident

The council had expected to finish the maintenance work on Friday.

Town Clerk Ronny Dube said all was under control.

“As a city of Victoria Falls we wish to inform our residents and stakeholders that there is an interruption of water supplies in Mkhosana as the local authority is installing a new pump at the river pump station,” he said.

“Installation took longer than anticipated due to some technical glitches. Concrete has been poured for reinforcement of the pump slab and is expected to dry up in 48 hours before the pump is switched on. Normal pumping will resume on Wednesday 1 June.”

The council recently said it is already operating in a deficit on its 2022 budget of just over $3 billion owing to low payment rate by residents.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority has also threatened to disconnect the council waterworks for non-payment of electricity bills.

The council is courting investors for its US$15 million Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme.

The government has since pledged US$4 million to the local authority for the Wash programme.

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