Residents of Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo have been warned of a dry Christmas by officials fine-tuning radical water rationing plans as the city’s two remaining dams - Insiza and Lower Ncema - run critically low.
Three of the city's five dams, namely Upper Ncema, Umzingwane and Inyankuni dried up in the last two months, and council officials say they are putting together measures to alleviate the problem.
The two operational dams hold just 37.7 percent of their capacity and council bosses are putting together a plan for water rationing to avert a major health disaster.
Upper Ncema Dam was the first to be de-commissioned on September 5, and council engineers will in the next two weeks turn off the engines at Umzingwane and Inyankuni Dams, the city’s director.
Bulawayo Deputy Mayor Amen Mpofu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Sithandekile Mhlanga that he believes the permanent solution to the region's water problems is the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, which has been on hold since 1912, with successive governments failing to get it off the ground.