Bulawayo which used to be Zimbabwe’s industrial hub due to its strategic location, is set to regain its status as Government under the Second Republic, has stepped up efforts to address the city’s water woes to enable it to attract more investors.
The city relies on five supply dams in the Umzingwane catchment which due to successive drought have not had significant inflows, but the situation has dramatically changed following good rains.
Bulawayo will soon start pumping water from Epping Forest in Nyamandlovu as the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has completed the drilling and equipping of 10 boreholes that were under rehabilitation.
Epping Forest is one of the major projects undertaken by Government to augment the city’s water supplies. The Nyamandlovu aquifer boreholes were drilled as an emergency measure during the 1992 drought.
Last year in September, Treasury released $205 million for the rehabilitation of the boreholes.
Pumping water from Nyamandlovu aquifer boreholes is expected to ease Bulawayo’s water crisis and deliver an additional 10 megalitres (ML) per day to the city’s water supplies.
Bulawayo has since 2019 been grappling with probably its worst water shortage in history largely due to the effects of climate change and depleting water levels at its supply dams located in drier Matabeleland South province.
President Mnangagwa is set to commission the Epping Forest boreholes in Nyamandlovu on Thursday as well as officiating at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Gwayi-Shangani pipeline.
The boreholes project was identified as one of the short-term solutions to the city’s water shortage challenges.
In an interview yesterday, Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube said the commissioning of the 10 boreholes in Nyamandlovu Aquifer project will boost investor confidence in the city.
“The commissioning of the Epping Forest will augment the city’s water supplies and this will definitely boost investors confidence as they are now guaranteed adequate water for their operations,” she said.
Minister Ncube said with a reliable water supply, there is no excuse for investors not to come to Bulawayo.
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