Bulk water abstraction worries Marlborough residents

10 May, 2024 - 00:05 0 Views
Bulk water abstraction worries Marlborough residents A bulk water supplier delivering water.

Suburban

A BULK water supplier is reportedly abstracting water from a wetland located behind the Marlborough Salvation Army Church parish, leaving residents of the area to worry about the environmental degradation the company is causing.

Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter

The wetland is behind the church on Rufaro Road, just off Admiral Tait Road.

The community’s distress stems from the potential impact the water abstraction will have on the water table which might lead to the drying up of boreholes and leave resident without water as the City of Harare is struggling to pump water to all the suburbs in the capital.

Residents want the issue escalated following the discovery that an individual, reportedly a tenant of the City of Harare, has been selling water in large quantities from the wetland for commercial purposes.

The management and control of the underground water falls under the jurisdiction of the Upper Manyame Sub Catchment Council, as advised by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).

Efforts to address this issue have involved engaging the City of Harare and EMA, with the hope of halting the abstraction of groundwater for commercial purposes. However, it has been revealed that the issuance of the water abstraction permit was initially declined by the Upper Manyame Sub-Catchment Council.

The permit was initially set to expire at the end of March or April 2024 but was inexplicably renewed, allowing the bulk water abstraction operations to continue until December 2024.

Residents are alarmed by the water abstraction evident in the high volumes of water leaving the wetland daily and the congestion caused by the trucks involved in the abstraction and ferrying of the water.

There are suspicions that the individual in charge of issuing the abstraction permits is also in the business of supplying bulk water.

The situation is further complicated by the absence of a lease agreement for the bulk water supplier and the historical context of the site, which raises questions about the transparency of the City of Harare’s involvement.

Residents said the City of Harare tenant on the said wetland does not have lease agreements.

As a result of these anomalies, Marlborough residents are considering approaching the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to investigate the matter and ensure the bulk water abstraction is halted.

Marlborough district officer Mr Emmanuel Bare said that the residents had approached his office over the bulk water supplier and he told them that the permit of the City of Harare tenant expires in December 2024.

“The tenant’s permit is expiring in December 2024. The residents approached me, and they said they were drafting a petition,” said Mr Bare.

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