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Health time bomb in Beitbridge, town run dry

by Mary Charamba
17 Mar 2017 at 05:00hrs | Views
 A 120-bed hospital at the border town of Beitbridge has suspended most delicate operations and reserved its admissions for emergencies only as the town has run dry.

Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) cut supplies, forcing the local district hospital to discharge maternity patients without a bath, NewsDay reported.

"We are discharging mothers and their new-born without a bath. We are sitting on a time bomb," a senior health technician Caroline  Siphuma is quoted saying.

Town secretary Loud Ramakgapola appealed to households to pay at least $20 monthly for outstanding water bills.

"We need $170 000 for our use and with 9 000 households we can reach that target," he said.

 Beitbridge owes Zinwa $12 million, which the local authority disputes blaming the huge bill to ageing pipes which are heavily leaking.

It is understood that water bills written off by then Local Government minister, Ignatius Chombo just before the 2013 general elections were burdening councils as they were accumulating interest with Zinwa.

Zinwa did not write off council water debts despite the government, in 2013, ordering local authorities to write off debts by individual ratepayers.

On Thursday evening Delta Ndou Milayo took to twitter to expressed her disgust at the situation.

"So. Govt asked Beitbridge Council to write off debts ahead of 2013 elections. But didn't instruct ZINWA to write off Council's debt to it" she posted using @deltandou.

She added "Beitbridge supplies water to SA border. And we generate revenue through that. So ZINWA cutting off the water supply is a really dumb move

"ZINWA rolled out prepaid water meters in Beitbridge. Insisting residents pay & NOT get recharge vouchers but get meters manually credited".



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