Breaking News

Bulawayo water crisis deepens

by Staff reporter
31 August 2012 | 3010 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

Comments

Latest News

I’d never sabotage Bossosays Knox Mutizwa - HIGHLANDERS striker Kno...

by Sikhumbuzo Moyo | 05 May 2016 | 495 Views

Prophet Magaya hosts miracle night - Prophetic Healing and Deliverance...

by Staff Reporter | 05 May 2016 | 777 Views

Warriors coach 'Pasuwa' gets April salary - THE payment of Warriors co...

by Takudzwa Chitsiga | 05 May 2016 | 924 Views

Economists speak on cash shortages in Zimbabwe - The low uptake of the...

by Staff Reporter | 05 May 2016 | 1406 Views

Watch: Babongile drops bond notes anthem - No to bond notes...

by Staff Report | 05 May 2016 | 2114 Views

Zanu-PF appoints National Appeals and Review Committee - The Zanu-PF p...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 1085 Views

Harare shuts out Mushore - The Harare City Council has ordered that M...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 1512 Views

Zapu Bulawayo Province Applauds Democratic Parties Statement On Labour...

by Mkhululi Zulu - Zapu Provincial Secretary for Information And Publicity Bulawayo | 05 May 2016 | 904 Views

'People of Zimbabwe celebrated Independence day with heads bowed' - "I...

by Wilton Nyasha Machimbira, a Political Scientist | 05 May 2016 | 984 Views

Minister caught on camera pleasurising himself - The Deputy Minister o...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 3298 Views

Zim prostitutes sell sperms in South Africa at $30 per bottle - Zimbab...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 2299 Views

Tsvangirayi supporter murders Zanu-PF official, found not guilty - A M...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 1166 Views

Dembare winger hospitalised - Dynamos winger Valentine Ndaba is recove...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 1538 Views

'Plagiarism claims extravagant,' rules judge - Online business publica...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 1060 Views

Harare council resolve to send new town clerk on indefinite leave

by Stephen Jakes | 05 May 2016 | 1317 Views

Zimbabwe government assists trafficking victims - The statement publis...

by Stewart Murewa | 05 May 2016 | 1322 Views

Man commit suicide at stadium

by Staff Reporter | 05 May 2016 | 3002 Views

Cops shut down brothel

by Staff Reporter | 05 May 2016 | 3049 Views

Protect wetlands and protect lives!

by Mbizo Chirasha | 05 May 2016 | 951 Views

Gushungo Dairy treason trial: Soldiers further remanded - Two members ...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 1145 Views

Kasukuwere guns for Bulawayo Mayor - Local Government Minister Saviour...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 1990 Views

MDC-T takes on Kasukuwere - Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) is ...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 1541 Views

State bankrolled Grace Mugabe rallies - First Lady Grace Mugabe's meet...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 1850 Views

Mugabe's Zanu-PF has failed, says war vets - In yet another unpreceden...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 2487 Views

Kapenta industry under threat - Lake Kariba has become a victim of ove...

by Staff reporter | 05 May 2016 | 1020 Views

Entertainment

Dr Rebecca Malope to perform in Birmingham

by Admore Tshuma | 04 May 2016 | 2466 Views

Charambas to unleash new gospel videos - Gospel music star Charles Cha...

by Staff reporter | 04 May 2016 | 1273 Views

Muna Hacha Maive Nei? The first speculative fiction novel in ChiShona ...

by Stephen Jakes | 04 May 2016 | 1425 Views

Tupac's mother, Afeni Shakur Davis, dies at 69

by Staff Reporter | 04 May 2016 | 3024 Views

'Ekhweni lami' a classic value for money project

by Vusmann | 03 May 2016 | 2651 Views

Macheso relishes SA tour - "We have performed in South Africa before, ...

by Tawanda Marwizi | 03 May 2016 | 2147 Views

Maita crowned Miss Africa Zimbabwe - Harare beauty, Maita Kainga was c...

by Bongani Ndlovu | 02 May 2016 | 2828 Views
iBlog

Ios 9 Features Inspired By Android

apple announced ios 9 on monday, and while watching the keynote, i had just a little bit of déjà vu. most of ios 9's new features seem to be squarely aimed at apple's biggest rival in mobile: android. specifically, they were about catching up to ... Read More
Sergey 13 June 2015 ago

What To Look For In Video Converter Software

looking for the best video converter software? you have to compare different video converters before making a purchase.the ability to watch video on different types of devices is a wonderful thing. not so wonderful are the compatibility issues that ... Read More
Sergey 19 June 2015 ago