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Bulawayo water rationing to go

by Staff reporter
14 Feb 2021 at 09:39hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo City Council will for the first time since January last year put aside its crippling water rationing scheme after its dams received enough water and pumping capacity to sustain the city until the next rainy season.

The council was in January last year forced to introduce a 36-hour water rationing scheme to its residents after some of the supply dams were decommissioned due to reduced levels. The situation deteriorated for most of the year forcing the local authority to introduce a "as and when" water is available water rationing policy resulting in some suburbs going for months without water.

However, since last December the country has been receiving heavy rains with some areas experiencing floods resulting in significant inflows into the city's supply days. Statistics availed by the council showed that as of Friday, the city's dams were 55,9 percent full with Insiza Mayfair, with a carrying capacity of 173 491 000 cubic metres being 66,3 percent full. Inyankuni, which has a carrying capacity of 80 781 000 cubic metres is 56,1 percent full and Upper Ncema which has a carrying capacity of 45 458 500 cubic metres is 59,8 percent full.

Mtshabezi, which has a carrying capacity of 51 996 000 cubic metres is pegged at 45,2 percent of its capacity, with Umzingwane with a carrying capacity of 44 663 500 cubic metres being 30,9 percent, full while Lower Ncema which has a carrying capacity of 18 237 700 cubic metres is 38 percent full. Council director of engineering services Engineer Simela Dube said three weeks from now, the city will abandon water rationing and residents will get water daily.

"The coming in of the Flowserve equipment means that the city is now getting an additional 55 megalitres of water per day which will increase our output to almost 145 megalitres per day. It is our target that on 15 February (tomorrow) we will reduce the water shedding further to 72 hours a week. We anticipate that the final solution on the replacement of the faulty valves will be complete by 15 March. It is from that time that we project that the city will be able to provide water continuously and return to the status of being the best city in terms of water delivery.

"History will tell you that we are just one of the three cities in the country that maintained 24-hour water provision over the past six years, apart of the challenges faced in 2019 and 2020. We are now saying we have overcome the challenges with the inflows that have been received in the dams. For now, our dams are able to stretch us to the end of the 2022 rainy season. However, the city will review its water rationing regime at the end of March when the rainy season officially comes to an end," said Eng Dube.

Last week the local authority started easing the water shedding schedule reverting to the 144-hour schedule and is expected to further improve it to 72 hours a week tomorrow. Meanwhile, Eng Dube has warned that the city will receive an increase in reported leaks as their plumbers now have the added task of opening and shutting water valves as per the new water shedding schedule.

"Because of the challenges of having our plumbers being busy mainly opening and closing valves the city has experienced an increase in leakages, as we stand, we have more than 2 000 leaks that have been reported and that will obviously create a challenge as the leaks will now need to be attended to with urgency. For us to be able to attend to the leaks with urgency, we urge residents to also play their part by at least paying their bills for us to deal with the leaks and the general maintenance of equipment," said Eng Dube.

Source - sundaynews

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