from WALTER MAFEKING in Chiredzi, Zimbabwe
CHIREDZI, (CAJ News) - CHIREDZI Town Council is seeking electricity from the giant Hippo Valley Estates to power its water works.
Town secretary Charles Muchatukwa told stakeholders this week the Tongaat Hulett owned sugar estate could be their saviour at a time when Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is intensifying its crippling load shedding programme.
The power utility, faced with dwindling water supplies in the Zambezi River, has introduced unprecedented power cuts that last up to 18 hours a day.
These interruptions have made it impossible for the Chiredzi town council water pumps to work, causing massive water shortages.
Some families are going for days without the precious commodity.
Council hopes that Hippo Valley Estates, which generates its own electricity can assist with power to pump enough water into the tanks.
“We are engaging Hippo Valley (Tongaat) to assist us with electricity at our water works. We wish to have a situation where, when power is switched off, automatically electricity is restored with the supply from Hippo,” said Muchatukwa.
“Several meetings have been held in connection with this arrangement and we assure residents of a positive answer. We hope in a short period, the problem of water will be a thing of the past.”
Muchatukwa also noted that the other solution under consideration was to acquire a 650 KVA generator that however requires 80 litres of diesel per day.
In July Chiredzi town council received a $450 000 grant under the Public Sector Investment Programme which was used to install water pipes aimed at curbing perennial shortages in ward 5 and the Makondo area.
Adelaide Chikunguru, the Corporate Affairs manager of Tongaat Hullet could not be reached for comment.
- CAJ News