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Bulawayo facing a severe water crisis

by Staff reporter
16 Jun 2024 at 04:09hrs | Views
Bulawayo is facing a severe water crisis, with its supply dams at just over 33% capacity. The city council has already decommissioned Umzingwane Dam and warns that Upper and Lower Ncema dams will also soon be decommissioned. Current dam levels are: Insiza at 46.21%, Inyankuni at 23.65%, Lower Ncema at 24.63%, Umzingwane at 2.69%, Upper Ncema at 8.99%, and Mtshabezi at 54.71%.

The cumulative inflows for the 2023-2024 rainy season are only 17.7 million cubic metres, which is 4.28% of the dams' full capacity. This is significantly lower than the previous year. Water abstraction from the dams totaled 2.9 million cubic metres, with Mtshabezi contributing 324,565 cubic metres.

The Mayor, David Coltart, indicated that the Glassblock Dam project, which is expected to increase water inflows by 70%, is progressing well and awaits final agreements and government support. However, short-term and medium-term strategies are necessary to address the crisis, exacerbated by an El Nino-induced drought.

In response, the local authority has tightened water rationing and introduced punitive fines for exceeding daily limits. The free water allocation has been reduced by 40% to 3,000 litres per month, with additional usage charged at US$4.13 per kilolitre.

Source - The Sunday News
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