Residents of Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, have been sent into panic and water hoarding mode following claims that the city may experience acute water shortages for an indefinite period.
An audio clip has been circulating on social media platforms since Wednesday urging residents to stock up on water. The clip claimed that one of the city’s water pumping facilities was on fire and supply would be disrupted.
The Bulawayo City Council has since dismissed the claim as false, urging residents to stay calm. BCC Spokesperson, Nesisa Mpofu, spoke to ZTN News.
“There was fire at Fernhill, but that fire was not at the booster station. In actual fact, it occurred at one of the illegal miners (amakorokoza) camps which is quite a distance from the booster station. The fire did not reach our water treatment station and was not even visible from the booster station,” BCC spokesperson, Nesisa Mpofu told ZTN.
She added that residents should ignore false social media messages that circulate without verification from the local authority.
Meanwhile, construction work on the Gwayi-Shangani dam has resumed. The project had stalled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Once complete, the project will cover Bulawayo and the whole of Matabeleland region. Zimbabwe National Water Authority Spokesperson, Marjory Munyonga told ZTN that construction is underway.
Bulawayo has been facing serious water challenges and urgent interventions have been needed to address the situation.