The Sunday News
Fairness Moyana in Hwange
AREAS around Dete in Hwange District are experiencing a crippling water crisis, with officials threatening to close clinics and schools in fear of an outbreak of cholera.
The township has been without water for the past two weeks forcing residents to walk several kilometres in search of the precious liquid.
According to the ward councillor Stanley Torima, the water situation is so dire that it is threatening the closure of the examination classes and health institutions due to the unavailability of running water.
“Water woes are still hounding the Dete community, we are now in the second week without water which is likely to force the closure of the examination classes at Sir Roy Welensky, St Francis, Dete Secondary and clinics as the institutions can’t operate without water. People are all over trying to look for the precious liquid, the situation is very bad and I think clinics will only attend to emergency cases only.
“When we tried to get hold of the Zinwa authorities they told us they are doing something about it but we are not expecting the water back any time soon from what is on the ground,” said Clr Torima.
The area has two clinics belonging to the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and Hwange Rural District Council as well as primary and secondary schools.
He appealed for Government intervention arguing that the unavailability of water was not only putting people lives at risk of disease outbreak but would dampen tourist activity in the area.
“The Government needs to intervene especially with Dete being a tourist hub. The situation might send the wrong picture to tourists. There is no water to drink let alone bath, it’s a health time bomb waiting to explode.”
Some residents at Mutuya and Soweto high-density areas said they were walking long distances to NRZ offices to access water while some are accessing water from nearby lodges where there are threats of animal attacks along the way.
“The situation is dire living without access to water is not possible. We are in serious trouble and appeal to relevant authorities to intervene as we are forced to seek other means from companies that have boreholes.
“The closest borehole belonging to Dete Ceramics gets overwhelmed. Some end up risking possible attacks from elephants and lions by walking to the lodges that have boreholes to fetch water,” said Ms Juliet Sibanda.
Zinwa corporate communications and marketing manager Ms Marjorie Munyonga said water supplies were interrupted after power cuts in the area.
“The Zimbabwe National Water Authority is aware of the water challenges that are being experienced in Dete. The disruption of water supplies in Dete is a result of power challenges in the area following the collapse of one of the electricity poles which the Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution and Transmission Company are working on replacing. Due to that fault, Zinwa is unable to treat and pump water to the residents and hopes that the fault is resolved within the shortest possible time so that water supplies can resume,” she said.