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Water Crisis Hits Gweru as Gwenoro Dam Runs Dry

City of Gweru
The City of Gweru in Zimbabwe's Midlands province faces a critical water shortage as the city’s main water source, Gwenoro Dam, is running dry.

Gweru’s Deputy Mayor Taurai Demo told Studio 7 the city’s main supply of raw water, is now just seven per cent full.

Mr. Demo said as a result of the critically low water levels, council will have to decommission the dam soon.

The local authority currently pumps 45,000 mega-liters of water per day, which is just below half of the city’s daily requirement.

To avert acute water shortages, council is upgrading the pumping capacity of two smaller dams Amapongokwe and White Waters, said Demo, adding council recently installed one pump at each of the dams.

Mr. Demo says residents should use water sparingly, adding residents should also use water from the boreholes that council has sunk in each of the city’s 18 wards.

Chairperson Cornelia Selipiwe of the Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association (GRRA), says some residents of the high density suburbs of Mkoba 19 and Senga have been experiencing water shortages even when Gwenoro Dam was full.

Selipiwe says council should upgrade its water supply system.

Elsewhere, former Gweru mayor Sesil Zvidzai, who recently won the primary election to represent the Morgan Tsvangirai led Movement for Democratic Change in parliamentary elections this year for the Gweru urban parliamentary seat, says he is very concerned about the death of industry in the Midlands capital.

Zvidzai says his main focus would be to resuscitate the city’s industrial base and create employment opportunities if he is elected into parliament.

In a related development, the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority spokesman Fullard Gwasira says the company hopes to have finished installing pre-paid electricity meters in all electrified houses in the country by the end of September.

There has been an outcry from some ordinary Zimbabweans that pre-paid electricity is more expensive than post-paid power.

But Mr. Gwasira said the pre-paid system allows individuals to use the electricity they can afford and also ensures that the power utility does not lose money through defaulting consumers.

He was speaking in Gweru Monday at the end of a public hearing by the parliamentary portfolio committee on mines and energy.