Murky water irks residents

BULAWAYO - Bulawayo residents have blasted the city council over “muddy and smelly” water piped on Workers Day, posing a health hazard to ratepayers.

Used to potable water even during the peak of serious water shortages that prompted the city fathers to introduce a tight water rationing regime, residents were on Wednesday surprised to  see untreated water gush out of their taps in some of the  city’s suburbs.

The Daily News interviewed some residents from the affected suburbs to find out their reaction.

Residents voiced their displeasure with the council.

“The water poses a serious health hazard to us as residents,” Martha Ndlovu, a Queens Park East resident said.

“We sacrifice to pay our bills, the council should also strive to give us potable water. This is not fair. Lives are at risk and they should be conscious of that.”

Nosizo Nyoni from Riverside suburb said the dirty water showed negligence by the council.

“When we start having dirty water, we start wondering what is happening to our council. Were is the management and all the responsible authorities? We cannot use sewerage effluent in our households. This is a pure sign of negligence,” she fumed.

Paula Msimanga from Mahatshula suburb said the dirty water was worrisome.

“If we are not careful, there will an outbreak of  cholera,” she said.

Despite severe water shortages caused by drought, the city was spared the national cholera disaster that killed over 4 000 people in 2008.

“I became worried when I saw the dirty water gushing out of my tap and thought maybe those in charge of ensuring we get clean water were on holiday since it was Workers Day. I tried boiling the water but it was releasing a strong stench,” Msimanga said.

Efforts to get a comment from the Bulawayo mayor on the issue were fruitless as he did not pick up calls.

During the just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, President Robert Mugabe encouraged local authorities to ensure residents accessed clean water.

“God has given us the rains but we do not want the water soiled,” Mugabe said.

“We need water and power and those should come first, that is why we call them enablers.”

He encouraged councils to work on the citys’ infrastructure utilising revenue generated from ratepayers.

“We pay rent and rates, where does the money go? We want to know,” he said.

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