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Council Says Bulawayo Water Supplies Still Critical

Bulawayo residents queue for water in a city that faces perennial water woes. (File Photo)
Bulawayo residents queue for water in a city that faces perennial water woes. (File Photo)
The Bulawayo City Council says water supplies in the city remain critical following its holiday water rationing reprieve for residents while Harare residents spent most of the festive season without clean running water.

Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo told VOA Studio 7 the water situation is being worsened by lack of rains and failure to raise funds to engage in some water taping projects.

Moyo said though the council is now drawing about 15 kiloliters of water from Mtshabezi Dam per day to boost its supplies, this is being impeded by the overall limited pumping capacity of its facilities and bursting old pipes.

He said the council cannot even revive nearly 20 boreholes in the Nyamandlovu aquifer which have broken down due to limited funds.

Moyo said water rationing will continue in the city until city dams record significant inflows.
The city’s major dams hold at least 158 million cubic meters of water set to run dry within the next 23 months if the city’s water catchment areas don’t receive adequate rainfall.

Meanwhile, some residents of Harare’s Kuwadzana Extension, Cranborne and other suburbs have experienced serious water woes in the past two weeks as their taps ran dry.

They spent part of their festive holiday drawing water from wells and boreholes as the council struggled to fix some burst pipes. The council says it is attending water problems in the affected suburbs.

The Harare Residents Trust says it will continue to engage the Harare City Council in 2014 to ensure that residents are afforded their constitution right to access clean and safe water as enshrined in the new constitution.

Trust director Precious Shumba told VOA Studio 7 government needs to adequately fund local governments to ensure that the broken down water system is repaired and residents are able to easily access clean water.

Shumba said it is disappointing that some parts Harare were without water during the just-ended holidays and some residents had their water cut off for non-payment of bills in the midst of the water crisis.