Residents in Ward 27’s Pelandaba West have met with constituency Member of Parliament, Honourable Sichelesile Mahlangu, to share their concerns over unavailability of water and proper sewer reticulation in the area.

Residents said since 2015, access to water, a precious liquid, and basic human right, has been in vain after land developers failed to adequately service the stands, leaving thousands of people in the midst of a ticking health-time-bomb.

The affected area is popularly known as ‘koShoniwa’ a name that comes because the land was serviced by E.C.T Shoniwa property developers. In the agreement with the council, ECT Shoniwa was allocated 350 stands to service.

According to Dorrine Charity Ndleleni, whose home has no water, sewer and water pipes were inappropriately laid.

“Later, a bulk meter was installed but it was taken down after concerns that it was not approved. Recently, Bulawayo City Council has been providing water under the Bulawayo Water and Sanitation Emergency Response (BOWSER) to residents, as a short-term measure to address the challenges but we want water in our homes,” she said.

Upon taking ownership of the houses, residents say they were made to believe the stands had been serviced with sewer, and water pipelines, including a functional road network.

However, upon taking residence, residents are appalled by the lack of water in the area, with Ndleleni citing that she has been paying $0.50 cents per-20-litre-bucket of water which she fetches from a neighbouring area, developed by a different land developer.

Another resident Bernardine Makombe said residents are now being charged $970 to have a water connection.

“…We have no water at all. I purchased my stand in 2015 and by then I was told the place is fully serviced yet this was not the case. I have three children and I have to fend for them, we have to flush toilets and look for water to drink, it is not easy,” said Makombe.

Addressing residents during the meeting, Pumula Constituency Member of Parliament Sichelesile Mahlangu said access to water should be available to everyone.

“Water is life and it should be available at all times. I will take this issue up to parliament so that there is a solution to this crisis. I am also interested in holding monthly feedback meetings with you (community members) so that I can fully represent you in parliament,” said Mahlangu.

Mahlangu said part of the $50 000 amount allocated to the Constituency Development Fund, will be used to improve access to water in the area.

Source: Women’s Institute for Leadership Development