Bulawayo Water Shedding: An Effortless Solution to the Current City Problem.

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Posted by  in: Wash News


20 October 2012


WATER-shedding that was recently introduced in the city is not helping in alleviating the water crisis in Bulawayo, amid revelations that daily consumption remains significantly high and does not tally with the city’s daily pumping capacity, a Cabinet minister has confirmed.


In an interview on the sidelines of a tour of the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline link project last Wednesday, Water Resources Development and Management Minister, Dr Samuel Sipepa Nkomo, said while the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) had introduced water-shedding in order to spread the available water supplies till the next rain season by reducing daily consumption, this was not the case as most residents were now hoarding water whenever it is made available.


“The city can supply just 95mgl a day but residents are still consuming an average of 110 mgl, this is because most of them now hoard water whenever it is available, filling every possible container including bathtubs.


When the water comes back again, they empty those containers by watering their gardens and refill them, which goes on to affect the daily consumption figures because instead of reducing, we are clearly wasting a lot of water. Further to this, the high number of leakages and pipe bursts around the city further worsen this state of affairs, which saw a lot of water go to waste.


Minister Sipepa Nkomo was quote saying that, “Right now we are pushing for the completion of the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline link project. This will not do much in solving the crisis at hand, instead it will see shedding being reduced by just 24 hours as we will still be having a shortfall of 34 mgl,”.


Meanwhile, Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister, Dr Ignatius Chombo, who was also part of the touring party, took a swipe at Bulawayo City Councillors for panicking at the last minute at a problem they knew has always been part of the city for many years. He said there was a need to have Councillors who had the necessary town planning expertise that would see them being able to avert such problems.


“What I will now do is go and tell these political parties to give me Councillors with the requisite expertise to hold such positions because all things being fair we shouldn’t be having such problems.


He said any Local Authority must plan ahead rather than waiting for a situation to occur for them to start panicking. “To be frank, residents in the city are continually paying for water which is not there at all. According to World Standards, we must be ensuring that by end of this year about 80% of our citizens have access to water while by end of 2013 over 90% should have access. With this rate, we are clearly not being sincere to this endeavour,” said Minister Chombo.


The minister said while there was progress at the pipeline link project, it was still a cause for concern that the water was still stuck at Mtshabezi with residents having to endure days without water supplies.


The city council adopted a rigorous water-shedding exercise that has seen residents going for over 96 hours per week without supplies.


Two of the city’s supply dams, Lower Ncema and Umzingwane, were also recently decommissioned with two more set to be decommissioned before the end of the year.


Bulawayo is said to be operating with a deficit of 4 dams as an additional supply dam is supposed to be constructed after every 10 years. The last supply dam to be constructed and used by the city was Insiza in 1976.



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