Bowser drivers divert water to families, friends

Source: Bowser drivers divert water to families, friends – The Southern Eye

BULAWAYO City Council water bowser truck drivers have been accused of diverting routes and distributing the much sought-after liquid to families and friends.

The local authority is using water bowsers to distribute water to thirsty residents who are going for weeks without the precious liquid.

Government is reluctant to declare the city a water crisis area to allow the local authority to mobilise international support for short to medium term projects to ease the water challenges.

Instead, the government appointed a technical committee to analyse water levels at the city’s supply dams, much to the chagrin of residents.

As a stop-gap measure, the local authority has been using bowsers to meet demand.

Bulawayo ward 25 councillor, Aleck Ndlovu, however, accused some truck drivers of diverting routes.

Ndlovu said council was trying to stamp out the vice.

“So what we advise is that if the bowser truck is leaving the depot it is important that the bowser truck communicates with the councillor of the intended destination so that the councillor in turn communicates with the area leadership,” he said.

“If they don’t do that there is a possibility that they could be tempted to divert that water. There have been allegations that people are ferrying water to their friends and families.”

It also emerged that some trucks were grounded due to mechanical faults.

“Therefore, council ends up having to hire some truckers to carry the water and that is an expense to council,” Ndlovu said.

“However, all we are saying is that we should have transparency and accountability in our dealings.

“We expect the truck drivers to behave in a professional and transparent manner which shows that the little water that they are ferrying is offloaded where there is the intended need.”

Bulawayo deputy mayor Edwin Ndlovu advised residents to report such behaviour to the local authority.

“We are not aware of such incidents but we call upon Bulawayo people to report such matters to the city council,” the deputy mayor said.

“This is because it’s a dismissible offence to divert routes when everyone is in need of the scarce resource. Someone can lose their job because of that.”

In 2020, council wrote to the Local Government ministry requesting that the city be declared a water shortage area.

The construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam is seen as a lasting solution to the city’s water woes, but the dam construction slowed down after the August 2023 polls.

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