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Umguza villagers cry foul over dam

by Staff reporter
18 Jul 2021 at 08:03hrs | Views
UMGUZA villagers are up in arms with authorities whom they accuse of failing to rebuild Mabhada Dam, 10 years after its wall collapsed.

The collapse of the dam left thousands of people in three wards comprising of Mgiqwa and Mafanisa without a reliable source of water.

The villagers said they were now walking up to 15km to Ngwenya Dam to fetch water for domestic consumption and their livestock after the collapse of Mabhada Dam wall due to heavy rains.

They said efforts to get assistance from government, Umguza Rural District Council and donors to rehabilitate the dam have not yielded any results

Shepherd Moyo, a villager, said rivers in the area dry up fast after the rainy season, leaving most people without a source of water.

"Life has not been easy for the villagers since Mabhada dam collapsed.

During winter periods, we have to wake up early and drive our cattle for 10 kilometres to Ngwenya dam in order for them to drink water," Moyo said.

"We also use donkey drawn carts to fetch water for domestic use and this is not easy for us."

He appealed to the government and nongovernmental organisations to chip in and assist as water is key to their lives.

Ward 4 councillor Mlungisi Dube said 3050 households used to rely on Mabhada Dam for water.

"Villagers in my ward and those in ward 3 and 5 are stranded without water and imagine this has been so for more than 10 years," Dube said.

"The council once offered a front end loader to scoop the dam and asked non-governmental organisations to assist.

"The rehabilitation of the dam is estimated to cost $500 000 and suggestions were that it could be better if we build a new one.

"The government has not done anything sofar."

He said the council should provide earth moving equipment for the rehabilitation exercise. Other villagers said there was no political will to rehabilitate the dam.

Umguza district development coordinator Tapiwa Zivovoyi said he has not yet received such a matter in his office.

"I have been here for four years as the DCC in the area, but I have never received such an issue," Zivovoyi said.

"It's my first time to hear of that dam and even on my arrival during the hand over take over, it was not mentioned.

"Where have these people reported this matter to?

"Even if they took it to council, I should have seen it because I also sit in the council revenue committee meetings, but I have never encountered such an issue."

Source - the standard

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