The Mtshabezi community says there is a case of misplaced priorities, with Mtshabezi dam supplying 17 000 cubic meters of water to the City of Bulawayo, while they are deprived of the scarce resource.
The pipeline that serves Bulawayo passes through the Mtshabezi community with the legislator, Mr William Dhewa, and the Mtshabezi Rural District Council Chairperson, Mr Dojiwe Sigola saying water from the dam could go a long way in quenching their thirst as well as watering crops and animals in the drought prone area.
Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) Director of Water Operations, Engineer Albert Mare said the dam constructed in 1994 now has access points where the community can now draw water for irrigation purposes.
The Chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Cde Wonder Mashange said there is need to ensure that projects such as the supply of water to Bulawayo from Mtshabezi dam also benefit the community to avoid vandalism as well as inculcate a sense of ownership.
The 42km pipeline to Bulawayo now has seven off-take points earmarked along the way to allow locals to access water from the dam with one now being operational.
For many of the residents of the area, the pace is just too slow.