BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) says it will cut water supplies to the city for five days a week from Monday next week due to dwindling water levels at the city’s supply dams.
BY SILAS NKALA
The city is also facing challenges in balancing its raw and clean water reservoirs at the Criterion Water Treatment Plant.
Residents in Bulawayo’s Pumula South, Old Magwegwe and Emganwini suburbs are spending nights queuing for water at boreholes and water bowsers to get the precious liquid.
The city council, which on April 8 effected the 108-hour water-shedding moving from 96 hours, will next Monday effect the 120-hour water-shedding, a clear sign that the water situation in the city is deteriorating.
In a notice, Bulawayo town clerk Christopher Dube on Thursday advised residents to brace for a more water cuts.
“The City of Bulawayo would like to advise residents that the city will be introducing the 120-hour water-shedding programme with effect from Monday, April 27,” Dube said.
“However, in a bid to manage water supply from the low water reservoirs, council would like to advise that there will be an emergency intermittent supply of water across the city, except for industry and central business district until Sunday, April 26 in a bid to balance the system.”
“This is due to the very high water consumption experienced citywide from Tuesday, April 21 2020 to Wednesday, April 22 averaging 150 megalitres (ML) per day against the system input of 90ML per day. The system will, therefore, with immediate effect be closed to allow for the recovery of critical reservoirs.”
Dube said the water-shedding programme was subject to change if the raw water level improves or deteriorates.
Some suburbs in high-lying areas are already experiencing serious water shortages, forcing them to fetch water from unprotected sources.
In his report on April 15, Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni indicated that the water supply situation in Bulawayo was dire.
Mguni said the city continues to be affected by water challenges and as at April 15, supply dams were at 31,73% with two dams still decommissioned and Lower Ncema earmarked for decommissioning in May.
The decommissioned dams are Umzingwane and Upper Ncema.
“The City of Bulawayo still awaits the declaration by the government of Bulawayo as a water shortage area so that we get the urgent support in water augmentation projects to increase water supply in the city. It is important that at this point in time, residents should recognise the dire state that Bulawayo is in,” he said.
Mguni said after the decommissioning of the Lower Ncema in May this year, only 60-65ML of raw water per day would be available from three supply dams and Nyamandlovu aquifer.
“We continue to lobby the government to avail raw water sources for Bulawayo so that we ensure adequate water for residents. We also urge residents to continue to save water,” he said.
Mguni also appealed to well-wishers to donate boreholes and bowsers to assist in saving lives, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.