By Vumani Mthiyane
Pupils in Gwanda schools are likely to miss out on school due to the continued water woes which have gone for more than three weeks now.
The local authority has been struggling to provide potable water to residents with officials blaming the incessant power cuts as the main reason why they have been failing to pump water to households.
Suburbs such as Jacaranda, Phakama, Spitzkop, Marriage and Ultra High are the worst affected.
“Spitz phase 1 and Phakama at area L it has been more than two weeks without water. We have a looming Cholera disaster if the situation is not addressed swiftly. I wonder if our schools have enough water for kids,” said Emmanuel Noko, a resident.
Another resident, Justine Mbiza weighed in saying if the situation is not immediately addressed, pupils might be forced to skip school.
“If schools do not have water, then our kids should not go there or the responsible authority should supply water in tanks or other containers,” he said.
The Town Clerk Priscilla Nkala said the challenge was beyond their control.
“Power outages are a national problem,” she said.
“When it comes to water provision all towns are affected, water levels are always low at the reservoirs hence low pressure also considering the fact that some areas are at a higher altitude.
“We can put pressure on the responsible authority but some decisions are beyond our control. As it is some cannot even write critical reports due to lack of electricity. “The issue is on our agenda and we are even applying for a dedicated line power line for the water treatment plant”.
However, the Matabeleland South Provincial Education Director, Lifias Masukume allayed fears of pupils being affected by the water situation saying they have already put measures in place.
“As the education sector we pray that all problems causing this will solved with speed as water is critical in our schools both for drinking and using in toilets. Any shortage of water in schools is a risk for learners and teachers,” said Masukume.
“Schools store enough water especially for use in toilets. School health workers are already on high alert for any potential threats.”
The mining town and Beitbridge in Matabeleland South province are still supplied water by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa).