GWERU town clerk Vakai Chikwekwe says the city’s ageing reticulation infrastructure is to blame for the intermittent water shortages facing residents. Chikwekwe said the council had bought new water pumps, which were not in sync with the old infrastructure, resulting in pipe bursts.
“We bought high lift pumps and a corresponding electricity generator which, by now, could have ensured that all parts of the city receive water,” he told stakeholders during a Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association-organised devolution and service delivery meeting on Thursday. “The high lift pumps have witnessed increased pumping pressure, but unfortunately, the increased pressure is not in sync with obsolete water pipes which are more than three decades old.”
Residents, however, questioned the local authority’s approach to addressing the city’s water challenges. “Honestly, how can they buy pumps that increase pressure, yet the pipes that carry the water are ancient and have never been replaced?” quizzed a resident.
The Midlands capital has been facing constant pipe bursts in the past weeks. In another matter, Chikwekwe said the council was ring-fencing revenue from the city parking deal and Kudzanai Bus Terminus to buy critical service delivery equipment.
“It’s a short-term intervention to ensure we budget for money to buy yellow machinery for our roads as well as other service delivery equipment,” he said.
Turning to devolution funds, Chikwekwe said the council would hold consultative meetings on how the money should be utilised.