RESIDENTS of Habane Township in Esigodini have rapped Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) over persistent water shortages, with reports that the water authority charges residents fixed bills despite that they spend months without the precious liquid.
Speaking at a residents’ meeting organised by Women Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) at Habane Township on Saturday, the area councillor Partson Sibanda said Zinwa was charging the residents for a service it was not providing.
“The main issue which troubles us as residents is that we have to pay for water that we have not used,” he said.
“Some people go for almost three months without water and would be required to pay for the fixed charges and that is $7 per month.”
Sibanda accused Zinwa of disconnecting water without any notice to the residents who have outstanding bills, but failed to appreciate that they went for months without water.
“If you do not pay for the fixed charges Zinwa comes and disconnects water, demanding a fee of $20 so that they can reconnect, which is a problem to us,” he said.
Sibanda said they had approached Esigodini District Development Fund (DDF) to fix the boreholes in the town, but work was still to commence.
“If the boreholes are resuscitated, residents would have been saved because Zinwa is truly a burden to us,” he said.
Sibanda, however, urged Zinwa to engage the Umzingwane Rural District Council in an effort to come up with a lasting solution to ensure provision of water to residents.
“Zinwa relaxed in the past 10 to 15 years, taking people’s money and not improving their service delivery,” he said.
“Zinwa must come and talk with the council together with the residents so that we can resolve this issue.”
Speaking at the same event, Alderman Stanley Bulayani Moyo appealed to Zinwa to change their waterpipes as they were too small to pump water to the sprawling township.
Moyo said the people of Habane had the right to water, as a number of dams where in the district. Bulawayo City Council water supply dams are located in Matabeleland South with some of them in Umzingwane. WILD representative, Mpumelelo Madlakela called for action.
“We have written a paper which includes all the problems we have discussed in all our meetings so that the MP for Umzingwane, William Dhewa, forwards it to the Environment ministry and the Finance ministry,” he said.
“Water should not be disconnected and we realised that in other cities the water charges per month were below $7.”