Binga Power Outages Force Mortuary Closure
Binga district hospital has been operating without a mortuary for the past 7 months due to power outages. Image by Depositphotos.
In Binga, an electricity crisis which has been raging for over seven months is forcing locals to use ice blocks to preserve corpses of their decaying relatives inside a mortuary grounded by power outages.
BINGA (The Citizen Bulletin) — Mike Ndlovu recalls how difficult the situation was when a relative passed on late last year at Binga district hospital.
“It was a terrible moment. We bought our own ice blocks to put on the body. The mortuary issue is about malfunction of the storage facility coupled with electricity blackouts and lack of a backup plan,” laments Ndlovu.
“It is a sad situation having our only district hospital operating without a cold storage for bodies at the mortuary for the past 7 months.”
Mike Ndlovu, Binga resident
Binga North legislator Prince Sibanda says lack of electricity in Binga speaks to the marginalisation of the region.
“It’s sad to have a district hospital, which acts as a referral for satellite clinics operating without a mortuary for the past 7 months. Electricity has become a luxury to Binga residents and many businesses are running losses,” he says.
“We have been facing electricity blackouts in Binga for a long time. We need permanent solutions not promises which include constant supply of electricity,” says Paul Mutaleis greeted by darkness as he disembarks from a ZUPCO bus coming from a Zanu PF star rally held in Siabuwa, 97 kilometers South East of Binga.
The unavailability of electricity in Binga, a cultural and fishing hub in Matabeleland North has severely affected businesses.
Power outages always compromise the storage of fresh fish and consequently affect the fish market.
Power outages are negatively affecting fish businesses in Binga.
Monitor Munsaka, a businesswoman, says she has been counting losses because of the blackouts.
“I have lost more than 100 kgs of fish this week when we stayed for three days without electricity. Nowadays the fishing season is picking up, but the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) is letting us down.”
Samson Sibanda, the chairperson of the Binga District Residents Association, says Binga villagers literally live in the ‘Stone Age’ era.
“Binga can go for two weeks or more without electricity and can you imagine everything in Binga is linked to electricity. This area is even dangerous when it’s dark; the wild animals also, when there is darkness, will be roaming in the roads and residential suburbs,” says Sibanda.
“Binga residents are risking crocodile and hippopotamus attacks fetching water from Zambezi River if there is no water and electricity.”
Binga is located within the Lake Kariba catchment area, but residents experience perennial water challenges because of lack of electricity to power water pumps.
“Water pumps in this town use electricity, so if there is no electricity it also means that there is no water,” adds Sibanda.
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While addressing a political rally at Siabuwa Business Centre, President Emmerson Mnangangwa admits that the central government has let Binga down.
“I want to apologize that we have not developed Binga to the level it must have. Truly we know the challenges you have been going through and we promise to attend to them as a central government to empower the people and develop Binga,” remarks President Mnangagwa.
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Binga, Social and Economic justice, Local government
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