THE Hwange Local Board (HLB) and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) have struck an agreement that will see the latter hand over all water and sewer management tasks to council after years of resistance.
By NQOBANI NDLOVU
Zinwa took over all water and sewer functions from councils countrywide in 2006 following a government directive.
The unpopular decision that ran against the Urban Councils Act which vests the management of the services to local authorities, was challenged in court by several councils.
HLB town secretary Ndumiso Mdlalose said the agreement will see the water authority hand over water and sewer management with effect from July 1.
“Notice is hereby given to Hwange residents and all its stakeholders that the management of sewer will be finally handed over to the HLB with effect from the 1st of July 218, following landmark meeting between the town secretary, council management and Zinwa on 31/05/18,” Mdlalose said in a notice.
Government’s directive allowing Zinwa to takeover water and sewer management from local authorities was met with protests, resulting in the unpopular decision being reversed in 2009.
However, the State entity is still running the water supply and sewer infrastructure of some councils such as Hwange and Gwanda.
In Hwange, Zinwa came underfire from residents for failing to provide a steady supply of clean water and attend to sewer bursts, resulting in raw effluent being discharged into Deka River and Kalope Dam — sources of drinking water for some Hwange communities.
“During the time that sewer management has been under Zinwa, HLB residents have at times experienced serious inconveniences from certain hotspots of sewer leakages. Although this has been a concern for the HLB, the council had no control over the situation since both the manpower and resources were in the hands of Zinwa,” Mdlalose said.
“The HLB together with Zinwa are currently attending to all sewerage hotspots as part of the handover period which should last about a month until the complete handover at the beginning of July.”
No comment could be obtained from Zinwa.