REDCLIFF near Kwekwe has gone for almost three months without running water, and the town Mayor is blaming the residents for not paying their bills which he says has led to the crisis.
While the residents say the water shortage exposed them to waterborne diseases as they were often forced to draw water from unprotected sources, the Mayor says the local authority can provide adequate water to all the suburbs if residents were forthcoming when it comes to paying the rates.
Redcliff gets its water from Kwekwe City Council, and for years, the two local authorities have been haggling over outstanding water bills. On several occasions, Kwekwe has had to turn off the supply line to induce payment.
“There are water challenges in Redcliff, but we can’t say it has gone for three months,” Redcliff mayor Clayton Masiyatswa confirmed the crisis in an interview with NewsDay.
“The residents are not paying their bills. We get our water supply from Kwekwe City Council and we have to pay for the service as they need money to buy chemicals and other necessities for safe drinking water supply.
“There is nothing we can do to solve the problem when they are not paying bills.
“On several occasions, we have encouraged the residents to pay their bills. We have always engaged residents and encouraged them to pay their water bills so that we get enough money to pay Kwekwe City Council for our supply.”
The town of roughly 40 000 people has several high suburbs including Rutendo and Torwood. The water crisis is these neighbourhoods has forced residents to resort to using bucket toilets while others relieve themselves in the open.
The residents who spoke to the publication said the water shortage exposed them to waterborne diseases as they were often forced to draw water from unprotected sources.