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Bulawayo council to ease water shedding over Christmas

by Staff reporter
24 Dec 2023 at 16:08hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has assured residents of the availability of water during Christmas as they continue monitoring levels at their reservoirs.

The city is on a 120-hour water shedding regime after the local authority said they were now relying on two of its supply dams, Insiza and Mtshabezi which are, however, failing to pump enough water due to ageing infrastructure.

Bulawayo's supply dams are Mtshabezi, Upper Ncema, Lower Ncema, Insiza and Umzingwane but some of the dams received insignificant inflows during the past rainy seasons due to climate change-induced drought.

Addressing journalists following a special council meeting that resolved to implement the five-day water shedding schedule a fortnight ago, the Mayor, Councillor David Coltart, had said they would review the situation before Christmas so as to ease the shedding.

In an interview with Sunday News yesterday, the local authority's Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Sikhumbuzo Ncube, said they were monitoring the water levels at their reservoirs with indications that they will not shed water during the Christmas holidays.

Mayor, Councillor David Coltart

"Our wish has always been to have residents get uninterrupted water supplies during the Christmas holidays, which is why we implemented the five-day water shedding schedule in the first place, so as to allow inflows into our reservoirs.

"We are now monitoring our reservoirs and we can say for now that residents will get uninterrupted supplies during the Christmas holidays. However, the residents should also work with us by conserving the water because if consumption is high, reservoirs levels will drop and we will be forced to implement stringent shedding measures," said Eng Ncube.

According to the latest dam levels, the city received slight inflows, standing at 44,47 percent full compared to a couple of weeks ago when the five-day shedding schedule was introduced where they were 43,59 percent full.

Mtshabezi Dam is 72,95 percent full, Insiza Mayfair; 60,23 percent, Inyankuni; 31,42 percent, Upper Ncema; 22,83 percent, Lower Ncema; 22,83 percent and Umzingwane Dam is 5,71 percent full.

Last week, Cabinet noted that while dam storage levels continue to decline due to the delayed onset of rains, the current national storage level of 74,4 percent is, nonetheless, higher than the 54,4 percent expected at this time of the year.

Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Anxious Masuka said a key highlight in terms of urban water supply, is the establishment of the Harare Technical Committee to increase water production, reduce non-revenue water, and to improve sanitation and a similar Committee has also been formed for Bulawayo.

While Bulawayo is experiencing a water-shedding programme, more than 10 000 cholera cases have been reported in Zimbabwe. Several measures with the World Health Organisation (WHO) are being accelerated as the Ministry of Health and Child Care has received a huge consignment of cholera response commodities consisting of point-of-use water chlorination tablets, Intravenous fluids and various complete cholera treatment camps, cholera beds, non-food items, mobile toilets, tents and antibiotics from WHO.

The Ministry of Health with support from WHO is developing a comprehensive laboratory testing strategy for cholera in Bulawayo. This they said will provide clearer guidelines for testing at all levels, strengthening data collection and analysis for smarter policy decisions.

Source - The Sunday News