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Bulawayo Polytechnic without running water

by Staff reporter
06 May 2021 at 05:23hrs | Views
A health time bomb is looming at the Bulawayo Polytechnic as the institution has gone for a month without running water, forcing students and staff to resort to contaminated borehole water.

The college allegedly owes Bulawayo City Council millions of dollars in unpaid water bills hence supplies have been cut. Hundreds of students who are writing examinations are resorting to buying bottled water to drink as the borehole water is said to be unsafe for drinking.

The students and staff are using buckets to carry borehole water to flush the toilets.

Chronicle caught up with disgruntled lecturers who said the situation was dire and exposed them to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.

They said the college authorities were not prioritising the welfare of students and staff hence the college has been operating without running water for a month.

"No one has said anything yet about the water problem but we are struggling and we cannot afford to continue buying water to drink. We are not sure what could be the problem but the borehole water is not safe for drinking although others have been drinking it," said one of the lecturers.

A student who refused to be named said they suspected the borehole water is contaminated because it is dirty.

"If you drink this borehole water you are at risk of contracting water-borne diseases like diarrhoea. We are writing exams under extremely difficult conditions, we have no water to drink or flush toilets. Poly is owing council large sums of money which prompted council to disconnect supplies," she said.

Council corporate affairs manager Mrs Nesisa Mpofu had not responded to questions sent to her by the time of going to press.

A senior official at council however, confirmed that the college is owing council large sums of money but could not give the figure. He also said the borehole water was not safe for drinking.

Contacted for comment, the institution's principal Engineer Gilbert Mabasa said it was not true that there was no water because there were several boreholes at the college. He said it was normal for the institution to have arrears just like every citizen in Zimbabwe.

Eng Mabasa said the water challenges were a nationwide problem hence there was no need to amplify Bulawayo Poly's challenges.

"Someone is trying to make up a story, we have our water supplies and I don't know what the problem is. Dirty water has nothing to do with having a water problem and there are people who have always been proud who prefer buying drinking water," said Eng Mabasa.

He said college had adequate borehole water and there was no need to have municipal water.

"Doesn't Zimbabwe have a water problem, there are water problems everywhere? I actually went around the hostels checking how things were and taking pictures. People are doing their laundry and the ablutions are clean. We recently drilled a third borehole and have no water crisis as you have been made to believe. I invite you to come to Bulawayo Polytechnic at any time on any day for your first-hand experience. We are anchored in the real world of production," said Eng Mabasa.

Source - chronicle

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