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Bulawayo facing sever water crisis

by Staff reporter
16 Oct 2023 at 06:02hrs | Views
BULAWAYO is facing a severe water crisis, leading the city council to suspend its 72-hour water shedding program and halt water distribution citywide.

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has identified a power supply issue at the Criterion Waterworks as the cause of this problem, which arose last Thursday. In an official statement, Mr. Christopher Dube, Bulawayo Town Clerk, announced that water would be unavailable in all parts of the city until the power supply at Criterion Waterworks is restored.

Dube stated, "The 72-hour water shedding program is temporarily suspended, and water supplies to all areas of the city are shut down. This is due to a Zesa power supply fault at Criterion that occurred on Thursday, October 12, at 8 pm."

He added, "To protect the city's water reservoirs from damage while ZETDC works on fixing the fault, water distribution to all areas of the city will remain suspended until power is restored at Criterion Waterworks and water treatment operations resume. The Bulawayo City Council apologizes to its valued consumers for any inconvenience this may cause."

The city was already dealing with a challenging rainy season, resulting in the decommissioning of three out of six council dams. The BCC has initiated an expansion of critical water treatment and conveyance infrastructure in preparation for increased water supplies from Lake Gwayi-Shangani, which is expected to provide a long-term solution to the city's recurring water issues.

The enhanced infrastructure will facilitate the flow of water from Magwegwe Reservoir to the Criterion Water Treatment Works, improving water distribution across the city. Criterion Water Treatment Works serves as the core facility for water treatment and distribution in the city.

The Second Republic is overseeing the construction of a 650 million cubic meters dam, a project that was first proposed in 1912 but faced delays in previous administrations. Financed with domestic resources and supported by an increased fiscal budget, the dam's construction is progressing in tandem with the installation of a 245-kilometer pipeline connecting Lake Gwayi-Shangani and Bulawayo.

Both initiatives are expected to create broader economic opportunities and stimulate development throughout the region. The government has committed to ensuring the timely completion of these projects to secure a reliable water supply for Bulawayo over the next 80 years, while also making it possible to allocate water resources from certain supply dams in Matabeleland South for development projects in the largely rural province.

Source - The Chronicle