The Bulawayo City Council has reduced water rationing from 96 hours to 48 a week following a directive from the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change, Saviour Kasukuwere, who is citing improved water pumping from Mtshabezi Dam.
In a statement, Town Clerk Middleton Nyoni, said the move follows discussions held with the minister on the need to review the rationing schedule since continuous pumping from mtshabezi dam has doubled water volumes to 15 mega litres a day.
Bulawayo residents have welcomed the new water rationing measures following strict restrictions due to the decommissioning of major water supply dams sometime this year.
Janet Mlilo said this is a positive move, which is hopefully not motivated by politics but a genuine need to alleviate the water problems facing the city.
"As a resident of Bulawayo, I believe that the directive is politically motivated. What the government has to do is not interfere in the running of the city council but make sure that they complete the project of bringing water from the Zambezi," she said.
Mlilo said it is critical that all stakeholders are consulted in order to find a long-term solution to the city’s water crisis.
Another resident, Sibusiso Mafu, said city fathers and the ministry of water need to continually engage over the city’s water challenges so that long-term solutions can be implemented within the next five years.
"Far from what other residents are saying that the minister is just politicking, I think the now ruling party is trying to show what they said in their party manifesto prior to the election whereby they are saying people first, this is a step in the right direction," said Mafu.
The Bulawayo City Council has urged residents to continue conserving water as supplies are still way below demand following the decommissioning of two supply dams.
Environmentalists say the implementation of the Zambezi Water Project, mooted by the colonial regime, is the only solution to Matabeleland region’s water problems.