Residents of Ballantyne Park and Highlands have written a petition to Government and the Nyagui Sub-Catchment Council in protest over the depletion of the water table in the area allegedly by a bulk water supplier on Addington Lane in Ballantyne Park.
Diana Nherera Suburban Reporter
In the petition sent to the Harare Metropolitan Provincial Development Co-ordinator, Mr Tafadzwa Muguti and Nyagui Sub-Catchment, the residents argued that the abstraction of bulk water by Ms Daisy Chavandura in the area is reducing underground water.
“We undersigned signatories as residents of Ballantyne Park do hereby petition your good office to compel Ms Daisy Chavandura who is conducting water abstraction in the residential area of Ballantyne Park to stop with immediate effect as this is an illegal operation and is resulting in reduced availability of underground water to residents.
“From our understanding, commercial water abstraction within residential areas is illegal.
“Despite this, Ms Chavandura is abstracting water for commercial purposes,” reads the petition from the Highlands Residents Association, Harare Wetlands Trust and Ballantyne Park Conservancy.
The petition states that the matter has since been reported to Nyagui Sub-Catchment Council but the bulk water supplier continues to abstract water from a residential area.
“Wetlands play a key role in replenishing underground water reserves.
“With housing developments currently taking place, unregulated not only on the Borrowdale wetland but on wetlands all over the City of Harare means less water being stored underground.
“This is the same water that Ms Chavandura is unsustainably abstracting for personal profit.
“The result will be acute water shortage for all,” reads the petition.
Contacted for comment, water councillor for Nyagui Sub Catchment Council Mr Wilson Mhuri confirmed having received the petition.
“The petition was submitted to our offices today (Monday this week).
“They (bulk water supplier) don’t have a permit,” he said.
Mr Mhuri said Nyagui Sub-Catchment Council has arrested bulk water suppliers several times for illegal water abstraction and fined them.
He urged the police to work with residents to deal with the problem as illegal bulk water suppliers are depriving people in residential areas of the much-needed water.
Mr Mhuri said illegal bulk water suppliers are giving residents a headache, leaving them to coordinate the signing of petitions to alert relevant authorities over their predicament.
Nyagui Sub-Catchment Council manager, Mr Russell Ndoro said legal action will be taken against illegal bulk water suppliers who decide to continue abstracting water.
“In terms of the law, they are not supposed to be pumping bulk water from there.
“Domestic boreholes are meant to be used just for primary purposes within that property,” he said.
Mr Muguti is on record saying illegal bulk water suppliers will face the full wrath of the law.
In February this year, Mr Muguti gave a stern warning to bulk water supply companies operating without licenses as it emerged that only three such suppliers are licensed in Harare.
The warning from Government followed a huge outcry from the northern suburbs especially in Borrowdale where unregistered companies continue to illegally abstract and sell bulk water. The suppliers find ready buyers because residents of the northern suburbs are the worst affected by council’s failure to supply water.
Mr Muguti said they had noted with concern that there was an increasing number of people and companies abstracting and selling bulk water without permits from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) or sub catchment councils.
“It has come to the attention of the Provincial Development Directorate and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) provincial director for Harare Metropolitan Province that several homes and businesses are harvesting and distributing bulk water without the necessary permits from ZINWA,” he said.
Mr Muguti said residents were encouraged to report all illegal bulk water supply activities in their communities to the nearest ZINWA offices or police station.