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Bulawayo sets date to re-introduce full water shedding

by Staff reporter
11 Jul 2021 at 10:39hrs | Views
BULAWAYO will revert to the dreaded city-wide water shedding schedule in February next year as two of its major supply dams are expected to be decommissioned by then if no major inflows are received in the coming rainy season.

The city has for the past few months not been under the water shedding regime owing to the improved water supplies serve for some suburbs in the low-density areas which are supplied by the Tuli Reservoir, which the local authority has said needs urgent rehabilitation.

Last year, the city went through one of its worst water crises when it decommissioned three dams – Upper and Lower Ncema and Umzingwaneforcing it to impose a six-day water shedding regime. Some suburbs went for close to 10 months without any running water during the period.

However, according to the latest council report, the city is likely to go back to full scale water shedding in February next year as Lower Ncema and Umzingwane Dams would be decommissioned in May and February 2022 respectively.

"Take note that Lower Ncema and Umzingwane Dams would be decommissioned in May and February 2022 respectively.This meant that by February next year, water shedding would be introduced due to late inflows which were usually realized into these dams in any rainy-season.

"As at 20 May 2021 percentage storage decreased from the previous month of April 2021 by 2,24 percent from 68,80 percent to 66,56 percent. Total volume was 275 million cubic metres of which the usable volume was 259 million cubic metres. During the similar period last year, the operational dams contained 122 million cubic metres of water (that is 29,56 percent), which was 37 percent less than thecurrent storage," reads the report.

According to the projected depletion periods for the city's supply dams, Upper Ncema is the other dam expected to be decommissioned in December 2022, if the city gets no inflows, Insiza Mayfair; June 2024, Mtshabezi Dam; January 2025 and Inyankuni Dam has supplies that could last to November 2025.

The local authority has, however, noted that in a bid to avert this impending challenge, there was a need to urgently commission some of the Government approved projects which were intended to improve water supply to the city.

"In that regard, processes to engage the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) were in progress to push for the awarding of these projects and have them kick start works before the end of this year – 2021.

"These projects were the Mtshabezi pumping scheme optimisation, which include the installation of inline booster stations at critical points to increase current flow of 17,76 megalitres a day to 25 megalitres a day and the Inyankuni booster station upgrading which will give between 10 and 15 megalitres a day additional supply," reads the report.

Meanwhile, ward councillor, Silas Chigora last Wednesday had no kind words for the continued failure by council to supply adequate water supplies to areas that were fed by the Tuli Reservoir.

"I have this feeling that the city is not being fair to the Eastern suburbs, sometime in March, the Mayor (Clr Solomon Mguni) announced that we are moving from a 144-hour water shedding schedule to about 48 hours. However, when you look at the Eastern suburbs, in particular ward three, four and five, it has not been the case. As we speak in Western suburbs, they are receiving water 24/7, but only suburbs that are serviced by Tuli Reservoir are shedded, right now we are going for close to five days without water but with no explanation at all from the department," said Clr Chigora.

Suburbs that are serviced by Tuli Reservoir include Esigodini, Imbizo Barracks, Fortunes Gate, Selbourne Park, Matsheumhlophe, Parklands, Khumalo, Queens Park, Suburbs, Mahatshula, Woodville, Kingsdale, Lochview, Sunninghill, Marlands, Glencoe, Riverside, Waterford, Manningdale, Willsgrove, Buena Vista and Douglasdale.

Source - sundaynews

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