Breaking News

Bulawayo water crisis deepens

by Staff reporter
31 August 2012 | 3712 Views
It has been nearly a year since government pledged to revive industries under the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Areas Fund (DIMAF) but there is still no concrete evidence of what exactly is being done to reverse wide-scale de-industrialisation in the second largest city.

Estimates from the Industry and Trade Ministry indicate that 90 companies have closed shop in the City of Kings in the last decade, with some 20 000 workers having been retrenched.

The city's residents have all but given up on DIMAF, as attention has shifted to more pressing issues piling up on the city. Bulawayo residents are now in the midst of a crippling water shortage that threatens to sound the death knell on the city. Last month, council embarked on a water-shedding regime of two days a week to ensure the resource does not run out before the onset of the rains around October this year.

The duration of water-shedding was increased to three days this week following the decommissioning of Lower Ncema Dam. City fathers have urged residents to brace for a tough time ahead. The situation could become even more challenging should this year's rainy season fall below expectations.

Weather experts predict normal rainfall this year, which would be sweet music to the ears of Bulawayo residents. But should there be a recurrence of the drought, as was the case last year, all hell would break loose.

Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, the Water Resources, Management and Development Minister believes the situation is still far from critical.

"I believe that we have not yet reached that critical stage. I have got a document from some Members of Parliament asking me to declare Bulawayo a state of disaster, but we have to assess the implications first. We have problems in other cities where the situation is worse than here", said Nkomo.

Indeed, Harare also faces an acute water shortage that led to a typhoid outbreak earlier this year and Nkomo indicated the water shortages there had forced the University of Zimbabwe to delay opening this semester. What it means is that a lot of water projects would be competing for meagre government resources, diminishing hopes among those who would have wanted Sipepa Nkomo's ministry to exclusively focus on the water crisis in the second city.

The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Trust Project (MZWTP), which would draw water from the Zambezi River to Bulawayo had been expected to provide a lifeline for the city, but remains locked up in an intricate web of political skulduggery and financial constraints.

President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party which has been in power since independence in 1980 is largely blamed for dragging its feet over finding a lasting solution to the city's water crisis due to its failure to fast-track the MZWTP.

With elections set for next year, political observers intimate that the water crisis could come back to haunt the former sole governing party.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party headed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has not been entirely absolved of the water crisis despite the fact that it joined the inclusive government in February 2009, long after the water woes in Bulawayo had started.

It remains in the MDC-T's interest to be seen taking charge of the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline, identified as offering a temporary solution to the city or risk being bunched into the same category as ZANU-PF, critics say.

The pipeline has already missed its June deadline. Bulawayo City Council director of engineering services, Simela Dube, indicated that the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline had its own limitations because drawing water from Mtshabezi would not make a huge difference at the moment. "It would see us go back to the 48-hour water shedding schedule and access only 17 000 cubic metres from it per day", said Simela.

Despite water being an emotive issue, the resource has also become a source of political point-scoring among the governing parties in the inclusive government. Like so many other places in the world, where water is a political issue, Bulawayo's water crisis appears to be stained by political interference.

In the southern African region, Botswana's Kalahari bushmen remain a sterling example of the political haggling over water, when they were locked up in a decade-long fight with the Botswana government until last year.

Similarly, the Bulawayo water crisis has seen ZANU-PF and the MDC formations engaging in the blame game. This week, Sipepa Nkomo came under fire from council and civil society for playing the blame game over delays in the construction of the Mtshabezi water pipeline.

Sipepa Nkomo has blamed the State Procurement Board (SPB) for dilly-dallying in granting tenders for the construction of the pipeline, which has missed several deadlines, the last one being in June. The SPB acquire services on behalf of government departments while ensuring compliance with the procurement laws by other procuring entities.

Anglistone Sibanda, an executive member of the Zambezi Water Project steering committee said Sipepa Nkomo, as head of the Water Resources Ministry, should accept full responsibility for government's failure to implement the project on time. "It is an indictment on him and his ministry as they have failed to connect a 40 kilometre pipeline within his five-year term of office," said Sibanda.




Delays in rolling out the project have a bearing on the water-shedding exercise adopted by the city in order to stretch supplies to around October/November. Council introduced water shedding following the decommissioning of Upper Ncema Dam, leaving the city with four supply dams - Insiza, Inyankuni, Lower Ncema and Umzingwane dams.

Dube revealed that the other dams supplying water to the city might dry up soon. Inyankuni Dam has been left with eight months water supply, while Lower Ncema has four months supply left. But as is always the case, it is the grass that suffers. In this case, Bulawayo residents have been left holding the shorter end of the stick.

Water Crisis

Source: fingaz

Are housemaids an evil lot?

Yes
41.03%
No
53.85%
Not sure
5.13%
117

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Joice Mujuru in $4 million chicken scandal

by Staff Reporter | 29 November 2014 | 744 Views

Jabulani Sibanda arrested for undermining Mugabe

by Staff Reporter | 29 November 2014 | 1131 Views

Zim's political crisis: Who are the main players? - As the country's v...

by Peta Thornycroft in Harare and Aislinn Laing in Johannesburg | 28 November 2014 | 1501 Views

'Jabulani Sibanda arrested' - Rumour

by Concerned Citizen | 28 November 2014 | 3108 Views

Over 60 killed in Nigerian mosque attack

by Staff Reporter | 28 November 2014 | 1089 Views

Chinamasa's budget grotesque and incomprehensible to the youth of Zimb...

by Caston Matewu, Secretary General MDC UK & Ireland Provincial Youth Assembly | 28 November 2014 | 1001 Views

Mthwakazi activists case referred to ConCourt

by Court Reporter | 28 November 2014 | 1002 Views

Olivia Muchena, 4 others ousted - The Zanu-PF National Women's League ...

by Staff reporter | 28 November 2014 | 5088 Views

Zimbabwe goes down four nil

by Prosper Tsvanhu | 28 November 2014 | 1394 Views

Mugabe may you please stop harassing innocent MDC-T Cadres - Its very ...

by Prof Richard M Simango | 28 November 2014 | 1958 Views

Stray monkey gets into a house, sleeps in a family bed - BULAWAYO - T...

by Staff reporter | 28 November 2014 | 2411 Views

Another Mujuru daughter in truck scandal - A Harare woman claims she h...

by Staff reporter | 28 November 2014 | 3402 Views

Shock as 'ill' man digs own grave - IN a bizarre incident which has le...

by Staff Reporter | 28 November 2014 | 4018 Views

'We don't owe Tsvangirai an apology' - Mbeki - Two weeks ago, the Mail...

by Thabo Mbeki | 28 November 2014 | 3089 Views

Bid to stop Zanu-PF congress - Some war veterans and youths sympatheti...

by Staff reporter | 28 November 2014 | 7390 Views

'Police BMW cause accident in town' - Photos

by Concerned Citizen | 28 November 2014 | 7527 Views

'Tsvangirai is better than ousted Zanu PF leaders' - HARARE - Zanu PF ...

by Staff Reporter | 28 November 2014 | 3641 Views

MDC-T official dies in bus accident - Shushine Siyamandanda dies ...

by Staff Reporter | 28 November 2014 | 5877 Views

Open letter to Thabo Mbeki on Zimbabwe

by Vincent Musewe | 28 November 2014 | 3649 Views

Purged Zanu-PF leaders can bounce back, analysts - THE ongoing purge o...

by Sports Reporter I Agencies | 28 November 2014 | 4657 Views

Unpaid, hungry man hits boss with a brick

by Staff reporter | 28 November 2014 | 3665 Views

Mugabe 'mutilates' Zanu-PF constitution

by Staff reporter | 28 November 2014 | 2786 Views

Gumbo savages Mugabe

by Staff reporter | 28 November 2014 | 7310 Views

'Chombo rigged central committee nominations' - Mashonaland West Zanu...

by Staff reporter | 28 November 2014 | 2793 Views

Chinamasa chides civil servants

by Staff reporter | 28 November 2014 | 3553 Views

Chinotimba bounces back

by Staff reporter | 28 November 2014 | 5295 Views

Entertainment

Zimbabwe has a good chance at winning BBA Hotshots - As the Big Brothe...

by 360nobs.com | 27 November 2014 | 1901 Views

Ivy Kombo-Kasi graduates with a Masters degree in International Commercial Law

by Jonathan Mbiriyamveka | 26 November 2014 | 4870 Views

Zimbabwean gospel musician goes live in South Africa on Saturday 29 No...

by Staff reporter | 26 November 2014 | 2032 Views

Re-brand ZBC

by Staff reporter | 25 November 2014 | 2532 Views

Express Links Money Transfer and Kenya Airways to Sponsor ZIMAA UK 201...

by Masimba Makasi | 25 November 2014 | 2100 Views

Namibian woman dances to Shona song - Video - ...

by Staff Reporter | 25 November 2014 | 4742 Views

Generations returns

by Staff reporter | 25 November 2014 | 4571 Views
iBlog

Auslogics Boostspeed 7 - More Powerful And User-friendly Than Ever

Auslogics boostspeed 7 - more powerful and user-friendly than ever!wondering how to fix slow computer performance? experts recommend auslogics boostspeed 7 - the most comprehensive system optimization software! auslogics boostspeed 7 is here!the bran... Read More
ITnews 26 August 2014 ago

Positions To Make Female Orgasm Easier During Intercourse

some women are fortunate enough to be able to climax easily, and in almost any sexual position. the majority of women though, sometimes find it difficult to orgasm especially when they are with a partner. sometimes this difficulty is just a result ... Read More
adoniadennis 12 May 2014 ago