Chipinge residents have implored the Chipinge Town Council to remove about 100 families that have illegally settled around Chipinge’s main water source, Bangaazan Dam.
The town’s water supply is being threatened by siltation caused by deforestation and illegal cultivation taking place in the upper catchment area of Bangaazan Dam.
Chipinge Town Council has previously evicted illegal settlers from the dam but the defiant squatters always return.
Chipinge Town Community Association (CTCA) chairperson, Lincoln Mwaimbodei urged the local authority to find alternative land for the squatters so that they are removed from the dam as the illegal settlements now expose residents to water-borne diseases. Said Mwaimbodei:
While acknowledging that our council has been working round the clock to ensure that residents get clean water, we are concerned about illegal settlers who are occupying the land around Bangaazan Dam.
We are appealing to relevant authorities to help the council to ensure that the squatters are evicted with immediate effect. Alternative land should be availed for these squatters.
The eviction order which was granted to the council by the courts should be enforced to save the town’s source of water.
The squatters’ activities can also expose residents to diseases.
Meanwhile, council chairperson, Councillor Lovemore Mkwapati said the squatters claim they were allocated the land and insist they are not going anywhere. He said:
The families were served with eviction orders, but they are resisting. They are arguing that they were allocated the land and will not leave.