Water dilemma for Chegutu residents

By Theophilus Chuma

Residents of Chegutu are up in arms with the local authority over a crippling water crisis which has seen the municipality only providing third of its daily obligation.

Every other dry day is a burden for thousands of families in Chegutu, who are now exposed to the threat of water borne diseases.

“We have not had water for days. We had a cholera outbreak in this area and are now worried we may encounter a similar outbreak,” said a resident.

Another said, “we last had water a long time ago. It’s worse that it was last year.”

In the meantime, thousands flock to the only borehole in Kaguvi residential area and the worry is how long will this water point last given the pressure exerted on a daily basis.

“You can find around 2000 people here because we come from as far as DRC location to fetch water ion this spot. It will be a huge catastrophe if this borehole breaks down,” said another resident.

The dilemma has left the local authority with nowhere to hide except to admit its shortcoming.

“We have a capacity to pump 10 mega liters but we are only managing 6 mega liters. We are working on rehabilitation of other areas so that we can meet our target,” said Chegutu Municipality Chamber Secretary, Jacob Chikuruwo.

Against a daily requirement of 22 mega litres, the current supply is a far cry of what the residents need with the only source of hope being government intervention.
Chegutu West MP, Honorable Dexter Nduna said, “We received ZWL$1 million under devolution funds which we used to rehabilitate the treatment plant. I think the answer now for the water challenges lies in expanding the clarifiers and the reservoir capacity which we intend to do if we get the next allocation under devolution funds. We have the land and we can also achieve this through PPPs.”

Like most urban areas, water challenges in Chegutu highlight high levels of ineptitude that has dogged local authorities for over a decade.