BCC turns to engineers as water crisis deepens

Source: BCC turns to engineers as water crisis deepens – The Southern Eye

BULAWAYO  City Council (BCC) is pinning hopes on its engineering department to formulate strategies towards addressing the crippling water crisis in the city.

This comes after the government refused to declare the city a water crisis area to allow authorities to seek international support for short-to-medium term interventions to address the challenges.



Instead, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development minister Anxious Masuku recently said a government-appointed technical committee was analysing dam levels before making a decision.

Government appointed the technical committee late last year to implement a 100-day action plan to alleviate the water challenges.

However, the water crisis has worsened with no solution in sight.



Last month, Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) petitioned the BCC through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) demanding redress to the water challenges as a matter of urgency.

In a letter dated March 7, Bulawayo chamber secretary Sikhangele Zhou advised the residents that the engineering department had taken over the situation.

“We are taking instructions from the department of engineering services. We shall revert,” Zhou wrote.

Zhou told the ZLHR that the local authority is currently consulting its personnel employed in the department of engineering services to formulate a comprehensive response.


On February 26, some Bulawayo residents represented by BPRA delivered a letter to BCC complaining about poor service delivery as the local authority is implementing water rationing measures.

They protested that the water challenges were an assault on their right to safe, clean and potable water as enshrined in section 77(a) of the Constitution.

In the letter, the residents said the water challenges had resulted in key critical public institutions such as hospitals going for days without the precious liquid.

They proposed that the city be declared a water crisis area in terms of section 61 of the Water Act.

“The perennial water crisis in Bulawayo, which is persisting at a time when the country is grappling with a devastating cholera outbreak, warranted that a state of disaster should be declared by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in terms of section 27 of the Civil Protection Act before innocent lives are lost,” the residents said.

“The declaration would allow for the necessary relief to be afforded to alleviate the local authority’s current water crisis and hopefully pave the way for a long-term solution.”

The residents demanded answers within seven days.