By Josiah Hlambeyo
Ward Six residents are crying foul over persistent water shortages as some areas have gone for six days without the precious liquid, with residents who are on the high grounds being the most affected.
The situation has been worsened by non-functioning boreholes which are meant to act as alternative water points in case taps go dry.
Of the 10 boreholes which service the ward, only four are functioning. This has left residents with no choice but to endure long winding queues or buy the precious liquid from retailers. Functional boreholes are overwhelmed by an estimated population of 13 000.
A resident who spoke on condition of anonymity said the water crisis poses a health risk especially in light of the global pandemic, corona virus which requires social distancing and constant washing of hands.
“Right now it’s not the corona virus we are worried about we are at the risk of other diseases, some of us don’t even have the man power; how many times would you go and fetch water at a borehole, and again the working boreholes are far away,” said one resident from Barham Green.
Another resident who identified herself as Mrs. Moyo said,
“We know that the city council is having problems in providing running water but at least they should also repair non-working boreholes and drill more water sources so that we don’t have to travel to other neighboring suburbs to get water. They should give us proper information about water cuts, recently we were told that they have increased water cuts to 144 hrs a week but we are experiencing more than the gazetted time of water rationing, “said Mrs. Moyo
In an interview, Sikhumbuzo an engineer with the city said the local authority is making efforts to bring to an end the water shortages.
“The city is still on the 144-hour water shedding schedule. We are currently using water bowsers to ferry water around to critical areas. BCC is in the process of installing water kiosks, 25 sites have been identified and 10 sites are at different stages of completion. ZINWA has managed to rehabilitate 15 more boreholes in Nyamandlovu, this adds 7 megalitres a day into the system. Though this is not adequate to move us back to a 120-hr shedding. Dams are currently about 28% full.”
The area councilor, Cllr Ruzive promised a quick resolution to the water problems and promised that boreholes will be fixed as a matter of urgency.
Meanwhile, residents in Bellevue have raised concern over raw sewage being released by the city council into a storm drain that runs along their homes.
A report was made last year to no avail and these residents fear that they might contract cholera from this negligence.