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BCC rubbishes Paul Kruger's nonsensical water report

21 May 2020 at 07:46hrs | Views
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) insists that consultants brought in by government to assess the city's water situation did not present an honest report. The city fathers still want the State to declare the problem a state of disaster.

The consultants hired by the government blame the water crisis on lack of capacity to pump water, insisting that the remaining supply dams Insiza, Mayfair, Inyankuni and Mtshabezi can last 14 months. Mayor Solomon Mguni said council's current abstraction system could not allow drawing of water from the remaining supply dams for the next 14 months as argued by the independent engineering consultants.

Mguni said it was for that reason that they continue pleading for the declaration of the city as a water crisis area to give the local authority leeway to mobilise resources to solve the crisis.

"As far as the council is concerned, our dams are empty, and that is a fact. Even the consultants do not contradict our position. What the consultants are suggesting - to allow for the abstraction of water from the remaining dams for as much as 14 months - is not possible," Mguni told Southern Eye yesterday.

"The current water abstraction designs do not allow for that, and that is why we decommission dams when they reach a certain holding capacity. What they are talking about requires a lot of mechanical works, and funding to redesign the council abstraction system."

"It's something that will require lots of funding which we don't have as a council. Our focus as a city was on the need to rehabilitate boreholes at Nyamandlovu, Epping forest and Rochester to augment supplies... if we are declared a water crisis area we can mobilise funding to meet the costs of fixing the water situation."

Last week, BCC officials met with Local Government minister July Moyo and his deputy Marian Chombo, Water deputy minister Douglas Karoro, Finance deputy minister Clemence Chiduwa among other government officials where the foreign consultants led by Paul Kruger delivered their findings. Moyo directed the consultants, council engineers, Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), and the Water ministry to meet and come up with a solution to the perennial water crisis.

Presenting his findings, Kruger said the water crisis in Bulawayo was not due to the absence of water, but the technical ability to pump the available water from the dams to residents.

"We are not under a crisis for water. The crisis is to get the water into town, that is the difference. The water is there in abundance ...but we cannot get the water into town. That is our predominant issue here," Kruger said.

Kruger pointed out the local authority's failure to properly plan how to pump water from each dam at the beginning of each rainy season, a development he said put pressure on the system when council began decommissioning dams.

He noted that the city fathers had drawn "way too much water from Upper and Lower Ncema dams," risking pumping dirtier water to residents.

In April, the government availed $10,6 million to Zinwa to rehabilitate 15 boreholes at the Nyamandlovu Aquifer to increase water obtained from the aquifer to 8ML per day from an average 3ML.

Source - newsday
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