The mayor of Gweru councillor Hamutendi Kombayi said some residents were now reluctant to pay their water bills because council is failing to provide them with the precious liquid hence the residents’ debt has ballooned to $12 billion.
Last week, the local authority released a water rationing schedule stipulating that residents in many areas in the city will receive water once a week.
There are, however, suburbs in high-lying areas that have gone for more than three months without water forcing residents to resort to unsafe water sources.
Clr Kombayi urged management to prioritise the provision of water to residents.
The local authority is pumping 37 megalitres of water a day against a daily demand of about 80 megalitres and as such it has been forced to ration the limited supplies.
There are reports that the council bought wrong pumps hence it is failing to pump enough water to meet the city’s daily water consumption.
Speaking during a recent council meeting, Clr Kombayi said management must avail more resources to the provision of water.
“As council, I think we should channel more resources towards the provision of water because residents cannot pay for water which they are not receiving,” he said.
Clr Kombayi said Gweru residents should not suffer because of council’s mistake of buying wrong pumps.
He said the bulk of the city’s revenue was from water bills but very few residents were paying because council was not supplying the water.
“We are owed about $12 billion because most residents have stopped paying their bills. Management should assure residents of regular water supplies,” he said.
Ward 14 Clr Danny Ndava said it was disturbing to note that council management was content with pumping a meagre 37 mega litres against a demand of 80 megalitres.
Director of Engineering Services, Mr Masauso Store told the meeting that the situation has been worsened by power outages.
“We have asked for a dedicated line to Gwenoro Dam to address this problem,” he said. Herald