Victoria Falls water cuts to stretch to September 4

BY NOKUTHABA DLAMINI

Victoria Falls will experience intermittent water cuts until September 4 as the city council is still battling to rehabilitate its pumping infrastructure.

The local authority says it recently inherited obsolete raw water abstraction and pumping infrastructure from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) and is revamping it to improve the distribution of water in the resort town.

Victoria Falls draws its water from the mighty Zambezi River, but over the years the city has faced water shortages

Most areas in the city have been experiencing intermittent water cuts since early this month when the local authority switched off supplies for several days to repair the water reticulation infrastructure.

Council on Wednesday said residents and businesses must brace for water cuts lasting up to 10 days.

“Victoria Falls City Council would like to advise its residents and stakeholders that intermittent water disruptions affecting some parts of the town are due to the ongoing rehabilitation exercise at the recently handed over raw abstraction and pump station,” council said in a statement.

“The current works need to be attended to urgently so that the raw water supply is aligned to production and the town’s needs are adequately met as we transition to the hot season.

“Please be advised that it is expected that the ongoing works will be completed by the week ending 4 September 2021,

“Kindly bear with us as we work towards offering quality and efficient water services.”

For the past six weeks, the local authority has been battling to provide adequate water to residents, especially in high density suburbs after a pump malfunctioned.

Some residents in Chinotimba and Mkhosana’s Garikai and Mfelandawonye areas are being forced to fetch water from the local authority’s main tank in Chinotimba.

Victoria Falls mayor Somvelo Dlamini has blamed the water cuts on aging infrastructure inherited from Zinwa.

Zinwa ran the city’s water reticulation system until a few months ago.

Dlamini says Zinwa left behind obsolete suction pumps and other equipment, which made it difficult to pump enough raw water from the Zambezi River.

Council won the tussle for control of the water infrastructure a few months ago after the government intervened.

Zinwa recently hiked water charges to $ 4.5 million per month from $1.1 million after losing pumping rights and council officials say the charges are too high as the local authorities must pay other pumping costs like electricity.

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