The Sunday News
Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Gwanda Correspondent
ZIMBABWE National Water Authority (Zinwa) Umzingwane Catchment is faced with a shortage of water treatment chemicals as the organisation is left with chemicals that can last for a week owing to low cash inflows, an official has said.
Speaking on Thursday during a Matabeleland South Provincial water and sanitation meeting, Zinwa Umzingwane Catchment team leader for Gwanda Service Centre, Mrs Nyararai Nyoni said Zinwa owed its chemical supplier an undisclosed large amount of money which had stopped more supplies from coming in.
She said since they increased their tariffs in September last year clients were reluctant to pay.
“We have very limited stock of chemicals which can last us a week because of low cash inflows. Since we increased our tariffs in September last year, there has been resistance from clients in paying resulting in cash inflow challenges. As a result, we have been failing to pay our supplier and as of now we owe them a large sum of money and they have pointed out that they won’t be giving us any more chemicals until we clear our debt.
“However, our head office is seized with the matter and they have indicated that they come up with strategies to ensure that we don’t run out of chemicals,” she said.
Mrs Nyoni said Zinwa Umzingwane Catchment has about 25 stations which they were supplying with treated water across Matabeleland South Province. She said monthly they required 23 420kg of aluminum, 1 505kg of HTH, 1 615kg of Soda H and 280kg of chlorine gas into order to treat raw water.
Speaking on the state of water Mrs Nyoni said as at 7 January the province had an average dam storage of 41,6 percent which was low against the capacity which was expected during this time of the year.
She said dams in Matobo District had an average capacity of 51 percent, Umzingwane District dams were standing at 24,9 percent, Insiza at 43,6 percent, Mangwe 38,9 percent, Gwanda 72,3 percent while the dams in Beitbridge District had an average capacity of 33,7 percent.
She said Zinwa was in the process of conducting a siltation survey of all the dams in the province to ascertain the severity of siltation in each dam.
Also speaking during the same meeting Matabeleland South principal environmental health officer, Mr Patrick Mirirayi said the province continued to record a number of diarrhoeal diseases due to failure by communities to access clean water.
He said most cases were being recorded in Beitbridge because of a sanitation coverage of 25 percent.
He said open defecation still remained a challenge within a number of communities in the province.
Mr Mirirayi said there was a need for scaling up of water harvesting activities to ensure that communities had access to safe water.