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Kuwadzana runs dry
Community Radio Harare (CORAH)
August 14, 2009

The high density suburb of Kuwadzana has gone for almost a week without water following the destruction of the main water pipe by Harare city council employees who allegedly broke the pipe when they were digging trenches in order to repair sewer pipes in the suburb.

According to residents who spoke to CORAH FM yesterday, council workers were last week digging trenches in order to replace ageing sewage pipes when they accidentally broke the main water pipe in Kuwadzana 5. "They were digging up trenches to replace obsolete sewer pipes when they suddenly stumbled upon the main water pipe and accidentally destroyed it. The result was a fierce water burst which led to a lot of water being lost. When they realized that the situation had terribly gone out of hand last Saturday, the council employees decided to switch off the water mains and this means the whole of Kuwadzana has not been receiving water since then. We are now afraid of being hit by another cholera outbreak because there is no water in this whole area," said Mrs Melody Kunaka of Kuwadzana 5.

"The trenches that they were digging have actually been filled by a combination of water and sewage and this is putting us at great risk of cholera. What is of concern is that the whole suburb is without water and we are not seeing council responding with the swiftness that we would have expected especially when we consider the dangers that lie ahead. As residents, we feel that council workers ought to be more careful when discharging their duties since a small mistake can lead the whole area into trouble," complained Annah Chowa of Kuwadzana 1.

Another resident who refused to be named said that the mixture of sewage and water now flowing almost in many parts of Kuwadzana means that residents are now living in fear of contracting water-borne diseases and that the situation has been worsened by a lot of flies that have been attracted by the stench smell and worsened by the warm temperatures Harare is experiencing.

When CORAH FM visited the area, a long queue could be seen winding at Kuwadzana 1 Secondary School with residents frantically trying to fetch water from the only borehole in the suburb. Others could be seen walking from as far as Warren Park and Dzivarasekwa carrying buckets of water. A few people who dug water wells in the area were not able to assist many people as they also feared that their wells could run dry.

Efforts to get a comment from city authorities were fruitless but a councilor in the area said the situation was going to be rectified 'soon.'

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