Council meters draw fire

EMGANWINI residents yesterday said they will not accept the installation of prepaid water meters by the Bulawayo City Council saying that would put the essential commodity out of the reach of many.

JUNIOR MOYO
OWN CORRESPONDENT

Council is set to commence the installation of the meters with a pilot project in Cowdray Park’s Hlalani Kuhle/Garikayi area.

But residents fear council would impose the project on every household without considering that some are opposed to the move.

Speaking at a residents’ meeting held at Senzangakhona Primary School in the suburb, residents expressed total opposition to the project.

“As Emganwini residents, we will not accept the installation of prepaid water meters as we all know the consequences.

“People will start using the bush as toilets which can lead to typhoid and cholera,” one resident said.

Another resident said the initiative would impact gatherings such as funeral wakes.

“How will we cope if we happen to have funerals when I can’t afford water worth $2 because of the economic situation?

“Even the neighbours won’t allow themselves to run out of water at my expense in the name of helping a member of the community,” the resident said.

Some residents questioned council’s sincerity in saving water saying the local authority was not repairing burst pipes and vast volumes of treated water were being lost.

“These are the issues which they should be looking at instead of introducing new technology which will give us more problems to find spare parts for when they start having faults,” the resident said.

Another resident said council should simply abandon the project because access to water is a human right as stated in the Constitution.

“I wonder why they want to introduce prepaid water meters yet water is our right according to the new Constitution,” he said.

Chapter 77 (a) of the new Constitution states that everyone has the right to safe, clean and portable water. Ward 26 councillor Norman Hlabano said council should reconsider its initiative since residents were against it.

“I hope this project ends in Cowdray Park because it seems there will be no prepaid water meters here since residents are against them,” he said.

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