By Shingirai Vambe
Rusape residents have expressed grave concern over the alarming low dam water levels in Rusape dam due to the channelling of water to Chiredzi, Green fuels as well as prolonged dry spell the region has experienced.
As of yesterday November 21 2020, the water level was recorded to be at 32,880 water capacity which equals to 48 percent dam level, after a previous recording of 37,356 which was approximately 54.9 percent as at November 1, 2020.
Beneficiaries of the natural resource have expressed concern over the current dam levels as they are failing to get constant water supply while nearby villagers now struggle to get fish from the dam.
We are aware of the water levels which are shocking, but with the signs, we are positively sure that we are going to receive enough rainfall to fill in this dam they said.
Recently Rusape Town Council (RTC) shifted their water pump by the dam, placing it at more conducive site as to save its residents from going for days without water.
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) corporate communications and marketing manager, Majorie Manyonga, said it had a priority to save lives if the worse get to the worst.
“In the event of drought and water stress, water resources management principles require that priority be given to human life hence during drought years priority is accorded to Rusape town council ahead of any other interest” Manyonga said.
Yearly, the Green fuels owner flies his helicopter surveying all water bodies supplying water to their sugar cane plantation in Chiredzi and he has previously donated a water pump to RTC to assist in pumping water to residents.
This is contrary to the statement given to Post On Sunday by Manyonga that Rusape Dam is used by RTC and irrigation of small local farms in Manicaland yet Billy Rauhgtenberg seemingly is the sole beneficiary of the water in the dam.
ZINWA could not respond to how much they were getting from the dam and if it was enough to maintain and service the dam. She also couldnt answer if there was a running project on the previously launched investment promotion in the countrys water bodies by His Excellence the President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018.
However through devolution funds, RTC has managed to connect 1800 Magamba residents to water and sewer reticulation system which has a total stretch of 22KM from Rusape dam.
Acting Town Secretary, Engineer Chindenga told Post On Sunday that as a council they were able to meet above 35000 residents water demand and being let down by Zesa which has a line that hasnt been fixed since March this year and once electricity is gone there will be no supply of water on the other side of Rusape which get its water straight from the dam.
“This is the only period in a year we face supply challenge as it is a peak period due to high temperatures, and as an Authority we are trying our best to ration the commodity for everyone to get access to it” he said.
In the presence of the Town Chairperson, Laiton Sithole, Chidenga said residents are failing to meet their obligations of paying their bills hence some administrative challenges while he acknowledged economic challenges they face.
“Resident can can afford to buy electricity because it is prepaid and they ignore their water bills which is constraining our day to day running of business as a local authority” Chidenga said.
He further highlighted that residents expect good service delivery but most purchases of equipment and raw materials are currently done in USD while residents are paying RTGS.