The Chron­i­cle

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

BU­L­AWAYO, Fri­day, Au­gust 23, 1991 — The fu­ture of Mvuma, sit­u­ated in cen­tral estates 80km east of Gweru, looks bleak as the town’s only source of wa­ter is fast run­ning out and is now un­able to sus­tain the town’s pop­u­la­tion of 14 000 peo­ple.

The wa­ter is now be­ing ra­tioned with taps be­ing opened for four hours in the morn­ing, two hours in the af­ter­noon and an­other four hours in the evening. But de­spite these mea­sures only a trickle of wa­ter comes out of the taps.

The res­i­dents rely on two com­mu­nal taps in low­ly­ing ar­eas of the sub­urbs which have more pres­sure where they col­lect wa­ter in con­tain­ers for use un­til the taps are opened again.

This poses a se­ri­ous health haz­ard for the res­i­dents as toilets have to be flushed us­ing buck­ets at times.

The chair­man of the Char­ter Ru­ral Dis­trict Coun­cil, Mrs Jane Hal­lias, said the town was now re­ly­ing on three bore­holes while Athens Gold Mine, in the town, was sink­ing a fourth bore­hole to aug­ment the town’s wa­ter sup­ply.

The busi­ness com­mu­nity ex­pressed con­cern over the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of the wa­ter situation, ex­press­ing fears that they could be forced to close down if there was no im­prove­ment.

“Mvuma has a small dam on the out­skirts of the town which dried up in three months be­cause of the phe­nom­e­nal growth in pop­u­la­tion,’’ said Mrs Hal­lias.

She said the dam had been built to cater for a com­mu­nity of about 3 000 peo­ple when Mvuma was Rhode­sia’s sec­ond largest town after Fort Vic­to­ria in the early colo­nial days.

Mrs Hal­lias said the dam had then been scooped every year un­til 1945. Over the years the dam had silted be­cause farm­ers grazed their cat­tle in the catch­ment area of Mtao For­est while oth­ers di­verted the wa­ter to their farms for ir­ri­ga­tion. She said the coun­cil scooped the dam last year but there had not been enough rains to fill it up.

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