BCC to invite private players to supply water to residents

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has said it would soon invite private players into the market to supply water to residents using bowsers.

This comes at a time when the city is facing critical water challenges, a development that has seen the city fathers implementing a stringent water-shedding programme, while the precious liquid is being bowsed to some residential areas.

Speaking during a virtual media briefing Wednesday, BCC Deputy Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Sikhumbuzo Ncube said the decision to open up the market to private entities was necessitated by the unsustainable cost of hiring a bowser by the local authority.

The City of Bulawayo is currently facing one of the worst water woes over the years with residents having water running in their taps only four days in a month with dam levels recorded to be at 24 percent as at 24 August.

“The city has six bowsers; we have got the programme; we follow that programme; we try to stick to that programme.” said Eng. Ncube.

“So for the month of July we had 858 deliveries that were done but on average we are doing around 25-28 deliveries against the demand of 50-60 deliveries so there is a huge shortfall almost 50 percent. Already we have a gap of 25 deliveries and in terms of litres of deliveries that is a shortfall of almost 2 million which is 2 mega-litres of water, so that shortage is what is causing the issues to do with blockages of the sewer.”

He said introduction private players was meant to ease the demand of water in the city by residents.

“So, we are trying to balance;  to come up and breech that gap so we are preparing a paper where we are going to open it up,” he said.

“It’s actually done in Harare, Econet is already doing that and for Bulawayo we thought we should regularise it and be in charge and control that. This is work in progress and we should see this coming out anytime soon where we are opening up and saying maybe those companies that can supply water to residents, those that don’t want to queue at a bowser can actually order their own”.

Engineer Ncube said the local authority was going to put in place systems and measures to monitor the water quality.

“Of course we are going to put systems to regularise the quality of water and make sure the system is being done and monitored by Bulawayo City Council,” he said.

“We will give them areas. You will have a vendor site probably in Emganwini, have somebody solely dedicated to that area, and then monitor it from there. We will have somebody maybe in Magwegwe or Njube. So this is something that we are already working on to map those areas so that we create vendor sites and you have your own site where you are going to deliver water,” he said.

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