The city of Kambove is without drinking water for five days. Tensions rose yesterday morning Friday, May 4, when a Gecamines' agent was stopped by the guard of this company, for being supplied with drinking water in facilities of the Gecamines, announced radio Okapi yesterday.
According this radio, the agent arrested was released. But his colleagues took their union to finding a solution to the shortage. They wanted including restoring water distribution system within a short time and creation of other points of water distribution in this mining town located 155 km from Lubumbashi.
Several other incidents occurred because of this lack water. Witnesses reported fights, insults and altercations to cater to the single water point of the city. There are also clashes between the Gécamines' guard industrial and the local population, who had no alternative but to go to source facilities of this company.
Gecamines, which has a monopoly on water distribution in Kambove, has only two pumping stations. The first, which produces the raw water, serves plants and almost all of the city. But it is operating below its normal capacity, due to a blackout in one of its engines. Under these conditions, the priority is reserved for the exploitation to the detriment of the population.
The second station of Shitambili provides drinking water. Normally, it only serves the urban center, at a rate of 18 hours on 24. The rest of the city is served from 14 pm to 18 pm, 4 hours per day. However, this station is also experiencing declining water level, causing a deficit of drinking water.