Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
Gweru residents yesterday entered a second day without water after they celebrated New Year with dry taps following reports of a power outage at the city’s water works.
By yesterday, the greater parts of Gweru and its environs were still to get water, with the local authority saying they were working on restoring the supplies.
Gweru Mayor Councillor Charles Chikozho said the water shortages were as a result of a power outage which occurred at the city’s water works on the New Year’s Eve. He said officials from the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) failed to immediately locate the fault, forcing residents to spend the whole day without water.
“It was a sad experience for city residents to wake up to the New Year with no water from their taps,” said Cllr Chikozho.
“We notified the ZETDC officials on the fault at our water works, but it took them some time to locate the source of the fault. It was a very bad day in office for myself. I received hundreds and hundreds of calls, some abusive, with people complaining about the development.”
Cllr Chikozho said the fault had since been addressed, with the city expected to resume normal water supplies today.
“The problem has been addressed and the pumping of water into our reservoirs has begun,” he said. “Most of the suburbs are now receiving water, but we expect to have normal water supplies by tomorrow (today).” Cllr Chikozho said the local authority was forced to take water bowsers to all its cemeteries in a bid to assist stranded mourners.
“It was a bad experience, we even went on to supply bowser water to bereaved families who were burying their loved ones on New Year,” he said.
Gweru residents who spoke to The Herald blasted council for failing to come up with power back-up strategies for critical water supply plants.