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Bulawayo declares water crisis emergency

by Staff reporter
12 Feb 2020 at 05:40hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has applied to Government to declare the city's water crisis an emergency. BCC says the declaration will enable developmental partners to mobilise resources towards provision of water in the city.

The city's director of engineering services Engineer Simela Dube revealed this yesterday during a media briefing. He said despite rains experienced in the past week, the city's dam levels remain critical at 34 percent.

Eng Dube said in anticipation of increased volumes of people to visit the city during the national Independence Day celebrations and Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in April, the local authority has written to Government to declare the city's water situation an emergency.

"We have indicated that our water is likely to run out and we have already communicated to Government to say besides the fact that Trade Fair and Independence celebrations will be here we need to be declared a water shortage area which will assist to unlock resources from other partners to come and assist the city in terms of water supply. We want Government to declare the water situation as a state of emergency. This is actually how Nyamandlovu aquifer was developed," said Eng Dube.

Nyamandlovu aquifer was developed in 1996 to improve water supply for Bulawayo but the city has continued to experience water shortage. The crisis has seen council effecting a 96-hour weekly water shedding programme as part of measures to save the resource.

In April, Bulawayo province will host the main independence celebrations for the first time since 1980 following a Zanu-PF National People's Conference resolution last year in December to rotate hosting of national events.

The ruling party's Politburo last week selected Bulawayo province to host the country's 40th independence celebrations. Bulawayo Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube said the resources that will be mobilised will help in speeding up water works.

"The idea is to try and speed up works at Nyamadlovu and Epping Forest so that there is more water coming to replace the loss of Lower Ncema should we lose it. We have also asked Government to look at the duplication of Mtshabezi Dam pipeline. The design for Mtshabezi was to deliver almost 25 megalitres of water per day at construction instead of using a single 900 diameter pipe, double 450 diameter pipes were used and what has been yield from that is 17 megalitres meaning another 250 diameter pipe will assist in bringing additional megalitres per day," said Mr Dube.

The Town Clerk said council was excited to host national Independence Day event. He said businesses and the city at large will benefit from the development.  

"Coming to hosting of independence commemorations, as council management we are really excited about the development. It means a lot to us. We are a tourist destination and we welcome the visitors. When the Independence celebrations are coming here, there is lot that is going to happen in terms of booking for hotels and our lodges. There will be a lot of economic activity which is going to be followed by the Trade Fair," said Mr Dube.

Council has already engaged the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration to support council in terms of rehabilitation of roads leading to the venues that will host the events.

Source - chronicle