Cowdray Park residents to dig trenches and install own water pipes

Cowdray Park residents have taken an initiative to install water pipes in their communities after fifteen years of waiting for the city council to connect water for them.

The residents called for a meeting with their councillor asking him to engage the city council on their behalf so they could access water.

Mduduzi Sibanda, one of the Cowdray Park residents, told CITE residents divided themselves into two groups, where they would meet up every weekend and dig trenches to lay the water pipes.

He described the initiative, as a “worthy cause as it would enable them to have water.”

Sibanda said one group worked on Saturdays, while the other on Sundays to cater for those with religious commitments.

“We have been staying here since 2010 and never had running water. My family relies on a relative who stays nearby and that is where we fetch our water from. Some residents were forced to make arrangements with their neighbors in order to access water,” he noted.

“Constant water shedding becomes difficult for us who do not have connections at all, hence this initiative to provide water. Digging trenches and laying down the water pipes is going to take a lot of effort as well as requiring financial responsibility from us but it has to be done, as access to water is a worthy cause.”

Sibanda added that the plumber who had been engaged by the residents had charged them ZWL$10 000 for the work.

According to the city council, Zigewu-a construction company that built houses on a section called Hawkflight (after a contracting company) did a poor job hence the local authority could not install water pipes.

Ward 28 Councillor, Kidwell Mujuru, confirmed in an interview that residents had approached him seeking permission to engage their own plumbers who would install water pipes.

He said council granted them permission but noted it was to be done under the supervision of council inspectors.

“What happened at Hawkflight section is the construction company that built the houses did not adhere to council standards so the city council cannot connect water pipes. The residents then came to me with suggestions they wanted to engage their own plumbers so they can have water,” said Cllr Mujuru.

“I approached the relevant council department, which gave the people a greenlight to dig trenches for the pipes. After digging, council inspectors will come and assess the progress made. If the residents have done a commendable job, they can proceed to lay down the pipes. The residents are going to foot the plumbers’ bills, as they are the ones who engaged them while the council will only come and connect water for them.”

Efforts to obtain comments from the Director for Zigewu were fruitless as his cellphone rang continuously without an answer.

A month ago, Cowdray Park residents grouped themselves to clear rubbish dump sites, which had mushroomed in the area and also tried to fix the dilapidated roads so movement could be easier.

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)