BINGA – Despite being on the shores of the mighty Zambezi River, Binga town in Matabeleland North province is facing critical water shortages.
The shortages have been attributed to Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa)’s failure to upgrade the water pumping system.
Binga Town Council chairperson Mukombwe Dube said the water shortages have reached alarming levels.
There are growing fears of a disease outbreak in the area.
“There is critical shortages of water here in Binga and the blame is not on my council but on Zinwa,” Dube said.
“Zinwa has failed to upgrade the old water pumping system which was left by the Ian Smith regime. Imagine this town is on the shores of the Zambezi River but people have no purified water."
“There can be disease outbreaks anytime as people have resorted to using dirty water.”
Fortune Musoni, the manager Zinwa Gwayi catchment area, said the shortages were being caused by water pumps which were not working.
“We had problems of water pumps which were broken down in Binga, but we have since sent our guys and I got a report just now that the pump is now up,” Musoni said.
“The other problem which we are facing in Binga is the constant electricity load shedding; the water pumping system there uses electricity.”
In 2008, Zimbabwe was hit by a serious cholera outbreak due to shortages of running water in most towns and cities.
More than 4 000 people died in a cholera epidemic that also affected at least 85 000 people in the country.
Hopes to end the water problems are pinned on the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (MZWP) which has been on the cards for many years.
The government estimates that $1,1 billion will be required to fund the project that is touted as the lasting solution to Matabeleland’s perennial water problems.