Byo residents take council to task over water crisis

Bulawayo residents are up in arms with the local authority, accusing it of continuously failing to provide water, despite significant inflows being received in the city’s dams.

The residents have gone for more than a year getting water only once a week, with some places receiving nothing at all, while 13 people having succumbed to a diarrhoea outbreak attributed partly to the water crisis.

Persistent rains received so far had brought hope that the water situation will soon improve.

Residents who spoke to ZBC News say the city fathers have failed dismally with regards to water provision in the city.

“We have been given excuses after excuses, city council needs to be clear with us, what is really happening, we have received water and still today we do not have water in Pumula,” said resident.

“We gave been relying on water from pits, we thought maybe since we have received water the situation will be better, but nothing has changes,” another resident said.

“We just want the city council to deliver their services. We are tired of excuses can they just for once look at our situation,” said yet another resident.

Contacted for comment, Bulawayo City Council Senior Public Relations Manager Mrs Nesisa Mpofu said council is set to introduce the 72-hour water shedding in the next two weeks once training of operatives are successfully completed.

“As a city we are expecting an increase in pumping and we are expecting that as of the 8th of February starting Monday we will be able to commission the first Flowserve pumps.

“From Monday we are expecting that our raw water levels would have picked up which will allow us to have a stable program of providing water once a week. However, we hope that the coming week from the 8th to the 15 will see an increased pumping which will ensure that the amount of time that we spend without water shifts to the 72-hour water-shedding programme.

“The strategy of the city is to ease the water-shedding program as it is we are hoping that by March we will come up with a 48-hour water-shedding program and subsequently its suspension,” said Mpofu.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority completed the Epping Forest project which delivers 10 mega litres of water to the city daily after government released 205 million Zimbabwe dollars for water augmentation.

Bulawayo dam levels have increased to 53 per cent following heavy rains that have recently been pounding the entire country.