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PREPAID WATER METERS: Not Now, Residents Urge Council

By Happiness Ncube, Our Citizen Reporter 

DINGUMUZI HALL — Residents have advised the local authority that they will only decide whether to adopt or reject the prepaid water technology after observing how the system works in a pilot project mooted by Council officials in one of the suburbs — without the consent of rate payers.

In a public meeting held over the weekend, residents told council officials that they were not interested in the new system which they know little about.

Residents, most of them who never thought the system which had been rejected by residents in the neighbouring  Bulawayo city, insisted that they would only make decisions about whether to adopt the prepaid water system or not after observing how they worked in the pilot project.

The meeting which was also attended by officials from Plumtree Town Council was organised by Plumtree Residents and Development Association — better known as PRADA.

PRADA, a local residents group. Residents bombarded the local authority’s head of engineering services Rangano Magiga, seeking to know who initiated the project and how the system works.

Magiga who was at pains trying to sell the prepaid water meter system to residents claimed that other towns had adopted the system, yet the fact is that most towns including Harare and Bulawayo amongst overwhelmingly rejected the system.

Magiga also revealed, to the shock of residents, that the Council had taken a loan to implement the project. But residents showed further dissatisfaction and quizzed the Engineer about who will pay for the gadgets.

“Did you consult the health sector before this move?, unlike Zesa, we have no other alternative, there are no boreholes, incases of water cuts people will be forced to consume dirty water and remember the cholera cases we have had before,” one resident opined.

Another resident weighed in: “How are you going to charge us, is this not a way of raising the water charges?” Other residents, especially argued against the prepaid water system saying water is human right and a natural resource that does not deserve such a restriction.

The local authority, admitted, through one of its councillors, Maxwell Washaya from Ward 5, that residents were not consulted prior to the implementation of the prepaid water technology which has already been rejected in other towns.

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One comment

  1. Lizwelethu Tshuma

    We are equally shocked about this development that is done to the residents of Plumtree Town. In as much as we are not sure about the efficacy of the system, Council was supposed to consult the residents widely before even piloting the project. Water is a human right, and absence of it will lead to terrible outbreak of diseases that will not be controlled. Presumably the purpose of installing water meters is not for purposes of sustainable use but to cut supplies for non-payment of the service, and this alone is a death trap to the most vulnerable. We will be left with no option but to ask for donors to drill more boreholes within town so that we forget about the project. Plumtree is so small a town to implement this project. We have plenty of water at Mhlanga, Quested and Mangwe dams hence no need for this unwarranted and disgusting project. Asazi madoda!

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