BY REX MPHISA
A larger section of Beitbridge with more than 2 000 schoolchildren has gone for three days without water because The Beitbridge Municipality does not have spares to repair burst pipes.
Residents of the sprawling town close to the international Limpopo River have resorted to unhygienic open defacations after running out of water to flush their toilets.
In some cases people have run out of water to bath, drink or cook.
After two days of defeaning silence the Municipality of Beitbridge (MOB) on Monday broadcast a message through various social media outlets announcing the problem.
“Municipality of Beitbridge would like to notify residents that there is a water supply interruption due to pipe bursts.”
“Affected areas include Wards 1, 2 (low density area), Ward 3 and part of Ward 6 (Alpha, Garikai Hlalani Kuhle) and Madinginye Suburb (GD254).
“Repairs have successfully been done on the line supplying Ward 3 and 6 while repairs are still outstanding on the line supplying Ward 1 and 2 due to unavailability of materials. We are making efforts to ensure these are availed by tomorrow,” read the notice dispatched by management.
The notice was prompted by residents questioning the unexplained lack of supplies entering the third day.
Beitbridge Government Primary School, St Mary’s Secondary School both with thousands on their enrolment, the Central Business District of Beitbridge, Prisons and the Beitbridge Border Post undergoing an upgrade were without water.
“They could have put water browsers at the schools in particular the primary with infants,” said a resident.
“The other sad part of it is the failure to announce and prepare residents. MOB is indeed discourteous and takes residents for granted,” he complained.
Several stakeholders also complained about the recurrence of the problem and asked MOB to find a lasting solution to what has become a weekly problem.
“Barely a week passes without this happening. The Municipality has to find a lasting solution.”
MOB inherited aged supply lines from the Department of Water which has since weaned itself from dispensing water directly to consumers opting to sell bulk water to MOB.
This has left MOB with huge repair costs of an ageing pipe network failing to match a recently upgraded water supply station that cost $20 million to develop.
Further problems are expected when pressure is increased from new reservoirs under construction on hills east of the border town near the Zimra Village under construction.