Zinwa in­stalls pre­paid water me­ters in Gwanda

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Re­porter

THE Zim­babwe Na­tional Water Au­thor­ity (Zinwa) has com­pleted the in­stal­la­tion of four pre­paid bulk water me­ters for Gwanda Mu­nic­i­pal­ity in an ef­fort to curb the lo­cal au­thor­ity’s bal­loon­ing water debt which is now about $10 mil­lion.

Zinwa’s cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions of­fi­cer Mr Tsun­giri­rai Shoriwa yes­ter­day said the au­thor­ity is owed over $134 mil­lion by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, ir­ri­ga­tors, paras­tatals, mines, in­dus­try and do­mes­tic con­sumers.

He said the sit­u­a­tion has seen Zinwa fail­ing to meet its statu­tory obli­ga­tions such as the pay­ment of taxes, levies, salaries and its cred­i­tors.

“We have in­stalled four pre­paid bulk water me­ters for Gwanda Mu­nic­i­pal­ity. These are not for the res­i­den­tial house­holds, but for Gwanda Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, which ob­tains treated water from Zinwa for on­ward retic­u­la­tion to the town’s res­i­dents.

“We in­stalled the pre­paid water me­ters af­ter ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tions with Gwanda Mu­nic­i­pal­ity. Zinwa is owed in ex­cess of $134 mil­lion. Of the $134 mil­lion, lo­cal au­thor­i­ties owe $36 mil­lion. We’re in­stalling pre­paid water me­ters for other lo­cal au­thor­i­ties who are not hon­our­ing their bills,” said Mr Shoriwa.

He added that water sup­plies can only be guar­an­teed if water users pay for the ser­vice be­fore they re­ceive it.

“With­out pay­ments, Zinwa finds it dif­fi­cult to pro­cure water sup­ply re­quire­ments such as water treat­ment chem­i­cals, elec­tric­ity, water treat­ment plant spares as well as other ac­ces­sories that al­low for the re­li­able pro­vi­sion of water,” said Mr Shoriwa.

He ap­pealed to water users whose ac­counts are in ar­rears to come up with prac­ti­cal ways to re­tire their debts to avoid the in­con­ve­nience as­so­ci­ated with non pay­ment such as lit­i­ga­tion or dis­con­nec­tions.

Water sup­plies for a num­ber of lo­cal au­thor­i­ties have been cut off on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions due to non-pay­ment of water bills.

Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties across the coun­try are sad­dled with debts owed by res­i­dents, in­dus­try and Govern­ment de­part­ments, and have used their predica­ment as jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for fail­ing to pay Zinwa.

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