Chitungwiza refurbishes water system

CHITUNGWIZA - Chitungwiza has started replacing water and sewer pipes in the dormitory town after accessing a $2,5 million loan from the Africa Development Bank (AfDB).

Mayor Philip Mutoti said pipe replacement was overdue as the town was grappling with burst sewer pipes.

Mutoti said the distribution network had not been refurbished since it was laid more than 40 years ago.

Before the rains, Chitungwiza had been experiencing water shortages as its main water sources of Seke and Harava dams had dried up due to the El Nino-induced drought.

“The contractors on the project are a Chinese firm called Geo Construction. The project, which will be rolled out in stages, started in St Mary’s because it is the oldest part of Chitungwiza and is supposed to take one year,” Mutoti said.

He said apart from St Mary’s, the project is mostly targeting areas where pipe bursts were a frequent occurrence.

He said the replacement will also assist in curbing the spread of waterborne diseases.

“The pipe replacement has come at a time when waterborne diseases are a high priority and we want to avoid this considering the large population of Chitungwiza,” he said.

While residents have applauded their local authority for the project, the water situation in the town continues to be dire.

Last year, Harare City Council reduced its water sales to Chitungwiza from 25 megalitres to 10 megalitres due to low availability.

The rationing resulted in many residents resorting to sourcing water from shallow, unprotected wells and boreholes.

Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust (Chitrest) said because of the water situation, diarrhoeal diseases were on the rise.

“Chitungwiza does not have its own source of water and depends entirely on the City of Harare. This means that households that used to access tap water once a week are now accessing it once per fortnight or a month,” Chitrest said.

The residents’ organisation also demanded that the town council prioritise investing in a dam so that the perennial water shortages in Chitungwiza are dealt with permanently.

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