Zimbabwe: Victoria Falls Residents Fume As Water Taps Dry

Victoria  Falls management on Wednesday was forced to supply water to high density suburb residents using bowsers after an electric fault on the main powerline from Hwange led to a closure on the city’s main pump station on Zambezi River.

The two high density suburbs of Mkhosana and Chinotimba have been without water since Sunday.

Only wards four and 10 in Chinotimba and a section of Mfelandawonye in Mkhosana were supplied using a bowser on Wednesday.

Other residents were expected to be covered this Thursday.

Residents have however accused the city fathers of causing poor service delivery due to bad planning and governance.

They were concerned that no official communication was made prior to the closure of water supply.

Zesa issued a statement explaining that pumping at the station was not possible because of a single phasing fault.

“Please be advised that ZETDC is experiencing a single phasing fault on the incomer from Hwange. All three phases machines are to be switched off until the fault has been rectified,” read a statement from Zesa.

The Victoria Falls pump station uses a three-phase power supply and if one of the phases is faulty, the pumps do not work, according to electricians.

The city council followed up with a statement advising residents about the distribution of water using bowsers.

“The city of Victoria Falls would like to inform its valued residents and stakeholders that the interpretations in the power supply have adversely affected the pumping of water at the treatment plant.

“The city will send bowsers at different points so that residents get water as the issue of power is being attended to,” said the council.

Residents however expressed anger on councillors and management saying they were being exposed to the risks of Covid-19 infection as they had no running water to wash hands and have to queue to fetch from the bowser.

Some said they risked infection as those on self-isolation at home might violate protocol and go out to fetch water.

This also comes as council has reportedly hiked water charges by about 400 percent beginning last month.

Residents are concerned that the rates hike comes at a time when the tourism industry which is the only economic activity in the city is dead due to the global pandemic.

“Some will even be arrested for violating curfew regulations while fetching water,” said an angry resident.

Victoria Falls, which was conferred city status in December last year, has perennial water challenges which the council has blamed on failure by Zinwa to supply raw water due to obsolete equipment.

President Mnangagwa directed the water authority to hand over water rights to the council to improve the situation, although the process has not been effected.