Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Municipal Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council will now supply water to most high-density surbubs as and when it is available, further compounding water woes for residents who are already getting the precious liquid an average of one day per week.
The latest development, the local authority announced was triggered by water pumping challenges at two of the city’s major reservoirs after the theft of two kilometres of electricity supply cables. To further exacerbate the situation the local authority also experienced three emergency leaks repairs to the Nyamandlovu pipeline and power supply challenges to the Rochester Nyamandlovu boreholes.
In a statement, the Bulawayo Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube, reported that for the next two weeks council was abandoning the 144-hour water shedding schedule in most high-density suburbs and will only supply water as and when it is available at Magwegwe and Criterion reservoirs.
“The interruption is due to the prolonged time needed for the city’s reservoirs to recover since the theft of two kilometres of electricity supply cables on 31 July, as well as recent three emergency leaks repairs to the Nyamandlovu line on 6 August and the latest power supply challenges to the Rochester Nyamandlovu boreholes which occurred at night on Thursday, which Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company is currently working on. These factors against the background of City Average Consumption which for the last two weeks has continued to be higher than supply have resulted in the prolonged recovery of the city’s reservoirs. This is further compounded by the low dam levels,” he said in a statement.
Mr Dube said supplies to the affected suburbs will only be available to allow for the consumers to fill up their containers.
“This shall be reviewed regularly until Friday, 28 August 2020, a date which we envisage the system to have recovered enough for supply to be regularised to allow for reversion back to the 144-hour weekly shedding programme,” said Mr Dube.
The affected suburbs are Luveve, Magwegwe, Njube, Entumbane, Mpopoma, Lobengula, Lobengula West, Mabutweni, Iminyela, Pelandaba, Matshobane, Cowdray Park, Emakhandeni, Gwabalanda and Maplanka, which are supplied by Magwegwe Reservoir. Areas supplied by Criterion which will be affected are Bellevue, West Somerton, Tshabalala, Sizinda, Parts of Kelvin, Nkulumane, all Nketa suburbs, Emganwini and all Pumula suburbs.
The council is implementing a six-day water shedding exercise in most areas as it tries to manage dwindling water levels at the city’s dams following two successive poor rainfall seasons. Water challenges saw an outbreak of typhoid and dysentery in Luveve and surrounding areas leading to the death of 13 people recently.
However, last Friday, Treasury disbursed $205 million in support of efforts to improve water supply in Bulawayo with Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube noting that provision of potable water was critical and also key to the revival of industries in the City of Kings.