Yeukai Karengezeka Herald Correspondent
Chitungwiza residents can expect 25 additional boreholes as part of interim measures council is taking to ease water challenges, Mayor Councillor Lovemore Maiko has said.
He said this last Friday during his tour of the decommissioned Prince Edward Water Works where the dormitory town was drawing its water from.
“The situation is very dire and considering what we have observed here today, both Seke and Harava dams are almost dry,” said Cllr Maiko.
“For the meantime, to alleviate the water challenges for our people, we have crafted a tender which will be flighted in the press anytime soon for the drilling of 25 boreholes — one borehole for each ward.”
Cllr Maiko said more boreholes were needed as the town’s population continued to grow.
“In our system, we have about 189 boreholes, but 57 are delivering safe water, while the others were decommissioned because of contamination and were no longer safe for drinking,” he said.
“We still require more boreholes because our population is growing every day.”
The water reticulation system was designed to last for up to 20 years only, but has now been in use for 44 years with most of the water lost through leak-ages.
Apart from that, the town is also using an outdated manual system to pump water. The council needs about US$320 million to installa new water system and construct Muda Dam.
Cllr Maiko said the local authority was working together with partners to rehabilitate some of the dysfunctional boreholes around the town and about 30 had been repaired so far.
He urged residents to seek alternative safe water sources other than tap water as Chitungwiza was allocated between 30-35 megalitres a week by Harare.
“I am advising our residents to get water from other sources that are safe because it not guaranteed as to how often people can access it,” said Cllr Maiko. “This is because we need at least an average of 70 megalitres a day, but we are only receiving about 35 megalitres per week.
“We are grateful to the City of Harare for the efforts they are putting to ensure that we get some water under the difficult circumstances.”
The town is pinning its hopes on the construction of Muda Dam which is still in its preliminary stages.
“We have applied for borrowing powers and awaiting the ministry’s approval,” said Town Clerk Dr George Makunde. “We also have applied for $300 000 from the Ministry of Finance to fund the feasibility studies and we await a response.”