The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has with immediate effect decommissioned one of its six water supply dams, Umzingwane Dam, a development set to further worsen the precious liquid crisis in the country’s second-largest city.
Bulawayo which is grappling with perennial water shortages is currently on a tight 72-hour water shedding programme.
In a public notice Friday, Bulawayo Town Clerk, Christopher Dube said low water levels had forced the local authority to decommission Umzingwane Dam.
“The City of Bulawayo would like to advise residents, stakeholders and members of the public that Umzingwane Dam (Volume – 6.7%) will be decommissioned on Friday, 9th September 2022 due to low water levels,” said Dube.
“This will result in five out of six dams remaining operational. Due to the low levels of Umzingwane Dam the city has been unable to meet its daily demand, which averages 155 mega litres per day.
The Town Clerk noted that the maximum available raw water supply is currently below 120 mega litres per day.
“As a result of the gap between demand and supply of 35 mega litres, the city has been on a water shedding regime, which has been progressively implemented from 48 hour to a 72 hour schedule,” he explained.
“The City of Bulawayo wishes to apologise to its valued customers for the inconvenience caused. Residents are urged to note that the city is grappling with one of the poorest rain seasons experienced at the end of April 2022 which resulted in low global storage in three out of six Council Dams.”
A number of efforts to end Bulawayo’s perennial water woes, including the Zambezi Water Project are yet to bear tangible fruit.