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Bulawayo Eases Water Rationing for Christmas Holiday

Bulawayo residents queue for water in a city that faces perennial water woes.
Bulawayo residents have welcomed the relaxation of water rationing by the city council during this festive period but are demanding a lasting solution for the city’s perennial water woes.

The Bulawayo City Council announced it will not ration water from Monday until January, 2014, to allow residents to have access to clean water during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

In October, the city council introduced a 48-hour-water rationing scheme a week due to the decommissioning of major water supply dams sometime this year.

Bulawayo United Residents Association chairman Winos Dube said residents are excited they won’t queue for water this festive season.

The Bulawayo City Council reduced water rationing from 96 hours to 48 a week in October following a directive from the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Change, Saviour Kasukuwere, who cited improved water pumping from Mtshabezi Dam.

Town Clerk Middleton Nyoni said the move followed discussions held with the minister on the need to review the rationing schedule since continuous pumping from Mtshabezi Dam had doubled water volumes to 15 mega litres a day.

Bulawayo residents at that time also welcomed the new water rationing measures following strict restrictions due to the decommissioning of major water supply dams like Upper Ncema.

Critics say the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project can bring a lasting solution to the city’s water woes though the project has stalled due to lack of state support.

The project was mooted by the Rhodesian regime.