Masvingo grapples with acute water shortage

MASVINGO - Acute water shortages have raised fears of disease outbreaks in parched Masvingo as the city grapples with strict water rationing.

Households across the ancient city have had no water for three weeks, with the taps turned off every other day and irrigation banned by the local municipality.

This comes as the death toll from a cholera outbreak in the capital Harare rose to 10, with several dozen people feared to have contracted the disease.

The fretting residents of Masvingo are now urging the City Council to urgently resolve the water woes in the city to avert a looming health hazard such as cholera and typhoid.

Residents have been forced to fetch water from boreholes and other unprotected sources.

Aid agencies Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (Cotrad) and Action for Accountability Groups (AAGs) met with Masvingo City Council Commission chairperson Goddard Dunira who reportedly said the water crisis is being caused by the malfunctioning of pumps at Bushmead Waterworks.

“There are three pumps at the main water works and at any given time two pumps will be running while the other one will be on standby.

“Right now two pumps are down and we are pumping with one at below 50 percent capacity,” Dunira said. 

Local residents have wholly blamed the city council for dismally failing to prioritise water supply maintenance machinery.

“Cotrad will continue to engage the city council until the water crisis is rectified. Access to clean and safe water is a constitutional right as enshrined in section 77 that, every person has the right to clean and safe water,” the agency said in a statement.

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