Highlands Primary School has gone for more than two years without council tap water, a situation worrying residents of Ward 8 and parents with children enrolled at the school.
Ivan Zhakata Suburban Reporter
The residents say the lack of council tap water at the school was likely to affect the students and staff hygienically as the school’s ablution facilities are not well maintained.
The school’s borehole reportedly dried up and the school has been getting water from the municipality which is deploying water bowser to the school but the water is reportedly not enough for an institution with more than 500 pupils.
One of the concerned residents and parent said council needed to act with urgency to provide water to the school while efforts are being made to resuscitate the borehole.
“Highlands Junior School which was once a world class institution in its own right. It has had no running water for years,” she said.
“Apparently their boreholes are all dry. They got another sited and were told it is more than 110 metres and there is a chance it might still come out empty. These are the effects of not managing our wetlands and waterways properly. There is a real crisis looming for Harare and other urban areas. We are going to exhaust our ground water supply, with no way of replenishing it quick enough.
“A real life story of mismanaging our resources, what will future generations think of us? The old timers left these wetlands in good stead for us, but we think we can get a quick buck by building or cultivating on them, I think we can do better.”
Council spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme could not be reached for comment but former Ward 8 Councillor Keith Charumbira is on record saying efforts were being made to rehabilitate the borehole as well as to restore water supplies at the school.
Mr Charumbira said water woes were not only affecting the school but the whole of Ward 8 and the city at large.
“On the issue to do with water, we are working on having the borehole at the school rehabilitated but currently they are getting water from a council bowser that is supplying water to the school,” he has told Suburban in the past.
Last year in September, some residents of Highlands started receiving council tap water for the first time in more than a decade as the Highlands Ratepayers and Residents Association worked closely with the City of Harare to restore water supplies in the suburb.
The development followed the decision by the HRRA to engage the municipality and assist it to solve the water problems in the suburb after several unsuccessful attempts to resolve the glitches by council. Ageing water pipes and blocked valves were blamed for the perennial water woes in most of Harare’s northern suburbs including Highlands. The rusting old steel pipes lead to the blocking of the valves.
For a week in September last year, some Highlands residents received council water continuously much to their relief but the reprieve has not benefitted all residents and institutions in the suburb as the situation at Highlands Primary School shows.
Last year, HRRA vice chairman Mr Mr Nick de Swardt told the residents that his association was working tirelessly with council to unblock all the valves and make water readily available to households in the suburb.