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Bulawayo's supply dams now 'terribly' low

by Staff reporter
21 Feb 2024 at 15:46hrs | Views
Bulawayo Mayor, Councillor David Coltart says the city's supply dams are now "terribly" low due to low inflows, a situation that is causing a major water crisis compounded by rising temperatures.

Coltart who took pictures at Umzingwane Dam this Wednesday morning said the river is "bone dry," demonstrating the severity of Bulawayo's water crisis.

"The City of Bulawayo faces a major water crisis. Our dams are low and none of the rivers into them are flowing. This morning I inspected the Umzingwane River upstream of the Umzingwane dam and these are the photos I took. The river is bone dry – there aren't even puddles. At this time of year one would expect at least puddles," he said on his X account.

The mayor said the government "urgently needs to declare Bulawayo as a water shortage area."

"We need urgent financial assistance to take a variety of short-term remedial measures to mitigate the crisis," Coltart said, citing that the Nyamandlovu aquifer pumps must be up to full capacity and be protected from theft.

"We need to construct a diversionary pipeline on the Mtshabezi pipeline direct to the Umzingwane pump station, upgrading the Inyankuni dam pump station and duplicating the pipeline from Insiza dam to Ncema water purification works."

All these interventions, according to the Bulawayo mayor, must be done as a "matter of extreme urgency."

"The Bulawayo City Council and local engineering companies have the capacity to do all of this but we need urgent financial assistance to do so," he said.

Responding to his post, online participants asked: "How can the people of Bulawayo and those with small or big finances contribute?"

"I know most people will say the Government, but we all know who runs the Government," said one user.

Another user identified as Bukhosi Sibanda asked whether the city or the relevant government ministry had done "dredging of the dams as well as planting some vegetation along river banks to increase depth of our dams and reduce siltation respectively?"

Another participant suggested that the local authority should "drill boreholes as a quick win solution while waiting for Gwayi Shangani and Zambezi water Projects" while another said, "Greater efforts should be focused on water recycling and conservation."

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