Kamativi nine-year water woes worsen

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KAMATIVI, a former tin mine in Matabeleland North, has reportedly gone for over a month without running water after an engine broke down.

BY RUTH NGWENYA

The settlement with a population of over 4 000 people has been facing water shortages since 2006.

According to residents, the latest water cuts have seen them resorting to unprotected sources for the precious liquid.

St Theresa Primary School head Rosemary Dube said the water shortages had affected pupils as they were now spending more time fetching water than attending lessons.

“Boreholes in Kamativi are few and people have to queue for a long time to get water,” she said. “If only there could be additional boreholes to reduce the current woes.”

Dube said most schools in the area built Blair toilets, but the majority of residents used the bush, which exposed the compound to water-borne diseases during the rainy season.

Kamativi councillor Joshua Tshuma said the Hwange Rural District Council, the local authority, had no money to fix the engine because residents were not paying rent.

Cossam Zulu, a resident, blamed the situation on lack of a residents’ association that could hold the local authority accountable.

“Instead of the council complaining about residents not paying their rent, they should come up with ways of persuading people to pay up,” he said.

“There are many buildings that the council could use to generate revenue, but the local authority is refusing to lease them out.”

Zulu said most house owners claimed that the properties belonged to them and they could not be expected to pay rent.

The Kamativi mine, owned by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), closed down in 1994 after tin prices plummeted on the international market.

ZMDC has been courting investors for years to resuscitate the mine, but nothing has materialised.