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Bulawayo running dry

by Staff reporter
04 Nov 2019 at 06:08hrs | Views
BULAWAYO will run out of water in seven months if it does not rain and residents fail to conserve available supplies, the Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni has said.

Speaking during the 76th Annual Civic Service held at the Celebration Church yesterday, Cllr Mguni said the overall dam levels in Bulawayo are now at 37,76 percent.

In a telephone interview after the service, Cllr Mguni said the water would last up to June at prevailing consumption rate.

"The situation would be dire if it does not rain. Residents should conserve water. With serious conservation, the water may last the city nine months," said the mayor.

During the service, he said: "Our overall dams' percentage is now at 37,76 percent as of Friday, November 1. May I take this opportunity to remind residents to conserve water. We all need to be good stewards of the water in the city as it is a finite resource," he said.

Already Upper Ncema, one of the city's six supply Dams has been decommissioned and Umzingwane Dam may be decommissioned in the coming weeks. Bulawayo has experienced water supply challenges owing to a number of issues, among them reduced rainfall.

Last month, council introduced a 72-hour water shedding programme owing to increased water consumption and Zesa power cuts that have seen dedicated power lines at Ncema and Fernhill, which are ordinarily exempt from load shedding, not being spared. The city has perennial water problems and experts have said the challenge lies in utilising available supplies.

The permanent solution to the city's water woes is the National Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project (NMZWP) which was first mooted in 1912. This project involves the construction of the Gwayi- Shangani Dam and the laying of the pipeline from the dam to Bulawayo.

Cllr Mguni urged residents to help in the city's development by paying their bills on time, protecting the city's infrastructure and environment.

"Ladies and gentlemen, today I invite you to help develop a beautiful City of Kings. Let us pay our bills timeously, protect our environment and infrastructure, put litter in bins, but most importantly be polite, loving residents," Cllr Mguni said. The mayor said the city has a lot to be grateful for as it celebrates 76 years as a city and 125 years as a town.

Cllr Mguni said Bulawayo can only be taken to greater heights if the council works together with churches.

"I am aware that my predecessors have in the past worked closely with the body of Christ to organise regular quarterly meetings. We are also faithful that God will ensure that Bulawayo grows in the next 125 years as a smart and resilient city.," he said.

Bulawayo was declared a city on November 4, 1943 and every year, a Civic Service to commemorate and celebrate the declaration of Bulawayo as a city is held on a Sunday near 4 November. Last month council held a day of prayer and thanksgiving for the city which was attended by many residents.

Source - chronicle