October 12, 2020

Our Throats are Dry, Say Bulawayo Residents

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Munashe Mukahlera

Some residents of Zimbabwe’s second largest city, Bulawayo, say they are sometimes going for 30 days without potable water.  Bulawayo city council has imposed a 144-hour weekly water rationing programme to manage dwindling supplies as dam levels have dropped to about 20 percent.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association Coordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu said a solution is urgently required.

He told ZTN that the city council had put in place a bowser system to provide water to residents in the interim as a long term solution is sought but the water supply continues to dwindle.

“They cannot cope with the demand. There are long queues stretching up to 12 midnight or even 3 am. Initially they were meant to be a plan B to work only when there is a need for that day and not necessarily to work 24 hours,” he said.

Bulawayo City Council spokesperson, Nesisa Mpofu, said the measures they put in place are temporary and they still need more sustainable solutions as the water situation in the city has been on-going over the past few years.

“It’s difficult, we are in a crisis. We are grateful that the rains have come so in some areas, we encourage residents to harvest water when it rains while they wait for the bowsers to be available and the water kiosks will be filled when we are able to.

We also have some private players selling water and all these are measures that people can look at. The challenge, however, is that some residents have also been going to unprotected wells for water which is bad but right now we are in a crisis,” she said.

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