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Bulawayo water crisis to persist

by Staff reporter
08 Apr 2021 at 16:35hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has painted a gloomy picture of the current water crisis telling residents to brace for more painful months despite the country receiving heavy rains this year.

This comes barely two months after the city fathers announced they were going to lift the much-dreaded water rationing regime by the end of March.

There seemed to be some light at the end of the tunnel when the council had reduced the punishing water shedding schedule from 144 hours to 72 hours a week.

However, in recent weeks, BCC has been struggling to stick to this timetable with some suburbs going for almost two weeks without water.

The city yesterday indicated that a combination of power outages and "insufficient" water levels at its supply dams were major causes of the current water problems.

"The challenge that we are facing is that of power outages due to load shedding and also people stealing cables along power lines that supply power to our pump stations that has as a result made us struggle to adhere to our water shedding timetable," Bulawayo deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube said.

"It is difficult to say we can completely lift it because there are many factors that have to be considered.  

"The first issue is that we did not receive the normal to above rains, we only received normal rains but what we need as Bulawayo is above normal rains for us to fully do away with the water crisis.  

"So, as it is, we need to be very careful as far as preserving the little and precious resources that we have in our supply dams now."

In its recent update, BCC said the total water level for its supply dams was pegged at 70 percent.

However, in terms of power cuts, the deputy mayor said the issue was out of their control shifting the blame to ZETDC.

"The only solution is for Zesa to give us a dedicated line that will not be affected by load shedding that goes straight to our pumping stations.

"They should also try to have power lines that don't have cables that are susceptible to theft," he said.

Earlier this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa was in Bulawayo where he commissioned the Epping Forest Borehole project in Nyamandlovu and the Gwayi-Shangani pipeline ground-breaking ceremony.

The government is hopeful that these two projects will help mitigate the city's perennial water challenges.

Source - dailynews

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