Breaking News

Bulawayo water crisis deepens

by Staff reporter
31 August 2012 | 3370 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

Should Zimbabweans be deported from the UK?

Yes
25.53%
No
72.34%
Not sure
2.13%
188

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Prophet Makandiwa pulls 10 000 foreigners

by Staff Reporter | 19 April 2014 | 858 Views

Mugabe calls for peace in Tsvangirai's party

by Staff Reporter | 19 April 2014 | 1250 Views

Obama trying as much as possible to please whites, says Mugabe

by Staff Reporter | 19 April 2014 | 1165 Views

11 die in 74 road accidents - ELEVEN people were killed while 77 other...

by Staff Reporter | 19 April 2014 | 666 Views

When Bosso beat Harare City at White City - WhatsApp photos

by Byo Resident | 19 April 2014 | 1262 Views

Pope Francis washes feet of disabled, including elderly Muslim

by Staff Reporter | 19 April 2014 | 647 Views

Earth-sized planet discovered in 'habitable zone'

by Staff Reporter | 19 April 2014 | 1244 Views

No water for five days - WhatsApp update - Please note that Bulawayo24...

by Beitbridge Resident | 18 April 2014 | 2134 Views

Heavy police deployment for ZITF - Bulawayo police have increased thei...

by Staff Reporter | 18 April 2014 | 1703 Views

Leave serial womanising to Morgan Tsvangirai - Mugabe

by Staff Reporter | 18 April 2014 | 4920 Views

Stepfather disappears after rape incident - POLICE in Mutare have laun...

by Takudzwa Nderere | 18 April 2014 | 2992 Views

Woman kills son (3) to please lover - A MUTASA woman was last week arr...

by Brenda Saburi | 18 April 2014 | 3446 Views

Mystery murder, mutilation - MUTASA villagers were left weak-kneed fol...

by Liberty Dube | 18 April 2014 | 2601 Views

Didymus Mutasa now 'fit as a fiddle' - ZANU-PF secretary for administr...

by Abel Zhakata | 18 April 2014 | 1889 Views

Assassination attempt on Mugabe - During the struggle for independence...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 6229 Views

Zim woman nabbed with 25kgs of drugs in India - India's Customs and C...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 1720 Views

FC Platinum thrash Dembare to lift Uhuru Cup - Dynamos 0 - 3 FC Plati...

by Staff reporter | 19 April 2014 | 2892 Views

MDC-T top gun attends Independence celebrations - In what could be bes...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 3285 Views

Corrupt people will be punished, says Mugabe - President Robert Mugabe...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 1213 Views

Mugabe reverses on indigenisation

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 5051 Views

'I was forced to give him a blow job' - A Police officer has been for...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 5453 Views

Tsvangirai prays for 'betrayers' - Opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangira...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 2421 Views

Zimbabwean woman murdered in Namibia - The lifeless body of a 43-year-...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 2989 Views

Prophet Makandiwa promises freedom - United Family International Churc...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 2738 Views

MDC-T, Zapu boycott Independence celebrations - The MDC-T has revealed...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 1810 Views

Boy (16) impregnates cousin - A 16-YEAR-OLD Bulawayo boy and his cousi...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 3207 Views

Zanu-PF chéf bashes lpregnant over - A 61-YEAR-OLD senior Zanu-PF off...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 1827 Views

5 arrested over Emakhandeni murder - POLICE in Bulawayo have arrested ...

by Staff reporter | 18 April 2014 | 1965 Views

Entertainment

All-white party for Dongo - Soulful singer Trevor Dongo is set perform...

by Jonathan Mbiriyamveka | 18 April 2014 | 1960 Views

Tuku Greatest Hits Concert postponed - Oliver Mtukudzi's Greatest Hits...

by Staff reporter | 16 April 2014 | 1353 Views

'Corruption is betrayal of the values of the liberation struggle' says...

by Jonathan Mbiriyamveka | 16 April 2014 | 1833 Views

Stand Up comedian to record one man show in Zimbabwe - Daliso Chaponda...

by Staff reporter | 16 April 2014 | 1183 Views

L'Vovo Derrango billed for Bulawayo show - THOSE attending the Zimbabw...

by Bongani Ndlovu | 16 April 2014 | 1264 Views

Artist Profile - Interview with D2X

by Staff Reporter | 14 April 2014 | 1605 Views

Generations actor's Bulawayo show flops

by Showbiz Reporter | 14 April 2014 | 6003 Views

Mukanya gets 'wild' applause - Self exiled legendary musician Dr Thoma...

by Staff reporter | 13 April 2014 | 5279 Views

Freshlyground to perform in Zim's HIFA after insulting Mugabe - South...

by Arts reporter | 13 April 2014 | 3632 Views

Generations' actress draws big crowd

by Staff Reporter | 13 April 2014 | 5555 Views

Generations actress in Zimbabwe - GENERATIONS, a South African soapie ...

by Bongani Ndlovu | 12 April 2014 | 3090 Views
iBlog

Can Too Much Masturbation Hurt Women’s Sex Life? Why Is Excessive Masturbation Bad?

both men and women often enjoy masturbation, and it is a natural sexual action for many people. however, when a woman masturbates too often, she may become concerned that it can hurt her sex life. this question is actually a valid concern, as there ... Read More
adoniadennis 01 March 2014 ago

How To Get Your Her Back In 3 Days | Mantra To Get My Love Back In 3 Days

If you are looking for happiness, prosperity, success, and health in your life then ahmed molvi ji is the right stoppagehe helped many peoples who have lost their track to live life, who were depressed and specially helped addicted person to lead a n... Read More
ahmedmolvi 18 April 2014 ago