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Disease Outbreaks Feared As Zimbabwe's Second City Rations Water

Municipal authorities in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city, have advised residents to take precautions against disease following the decision to ration water supplies due to critically low levels in reservoirs, locally referred to as "dams."

Bulawayo officials took Lower Ncema Dam off line because of low water levels, leaving the Insiza and Nyanguni dams as remaining water sources. But the two dams can only supply 69,000 cubic meters of water a day, about half of what the city needs.

Under the rationing scheme, taps will run for seven hours every other day. Water flowed on Wednesday water but then taps were to dry up until Friday.

Bulawayo has been experiencing chronic water supply problems, but this is the first time that the municipal authorities have felt the need to issue a health warning.

Bulawayo Chamber Secretary and Acting Town Clerk Gilbert Dube told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that city authorities will do all they can to prevent an outbreak of disease due to the intermittent flow of water.

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