Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) will ensure adequate water supplies to the towns, growth points and rural service centres it serves throughout the 21-day lockdown.
While cities and larger urban centres have their own purification and distribution infrastructure, Zinwa supplies the rest of the country through 634 water supply stations countrywide.
Zinwa’s spokesperson Mrs Marjorie Munyonga last week said the authority was engaging suppliers of purification chemicals so that there were adequate stocks to avoid interruptions to water supplies at its stations.
“We fully appreciate the important role water, sanitation and hygiene play in the ongoing efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus,” said Mrs Munyonga. “So, we have put in place a business continuity plan that ensures the availability of water to places that are supplied by our 534 water stations.”
While Zinwa has reduced the number of employees working during the lockdown period, this is largely office staff while all its treatment plants are fully manned and resourced.
Mrs Munyonga said most of Zinwa water supply stations were fully operational, and because electricity has been available at most stations during the lockdown, this has resulted in improved water supplies across the country with the exception of Gwanda and Gokwe towns.
Mrs Munyonga said there were challenges in the procurement of some spares, as some suppliers closed shop in response to the lockdown directive.
“Regardless of that, Zinwa is making do with the spares it has in stock and in some cases we are moving spares from one centre to another,” said Mrs Munyonga.
She reminded consumers that it was critical for them to pay their bills, regardless of the lockdown, using electronic payment platforms, to ensure Zinwa remains viable.