Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) has called on the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to suspend water cuts with immediate effect as it increases water pipe bursts.
Bulawayo City Council (BCC) introduced a 48- hour water shedding exercise after a major water pipeline burst in Esigodini two weeks ago but has failed to religiously stick to the schedule.
The burst pipeline connects Ncema water treatment works and criterion water treatment plant in Burnside suburb.
Areas such as Lobengula West, Iminyela, New Magwegwe, Manningdale, Luveve, Nkulumane 12, parts of Mpopoma, Gwabalanda, Robert Sinyoka, Mazwi village, Methodist village, Pumula South Ngwalongwalo primary area are amongst others who have gone for more than five days without receiving water.
Speaking during a press conference on the state of service delivery in Bulawayo, BPRA secretary for administration, Thembelani Dube said the local authority should do away with water shedding.
“Every time when they open there is a burst, they would rather reduce the valves so that water is always flowing of cause it can be controlled, maybe others will be getting water at night but once they close whenever they open they are bursts and we are in this situation now of 48-hour shedding because of the bursts that they are experiencing whenever they try to open like what they have been giving us in their social media platforms.,” he said.
Dube said the current council has worsened the state of service delivery in Bulawayo.
“While we appreciate that water is indeed a finite resource that must be managed judiciously, we are of the view that our current council has worsened the crisis as opposed to mitigating it. We have been made to believe that scarcity is natural, rather than human-induced. The natural causes notion of scarcity that is often pushed by the duty bearers at national and local government levels are often quite different from the local residents’ knowledge and lived experiences.”
He added that industries that do not pay their rates continue to get water while residents continue to be penalised.
Dube said the failure by BCC to effectively communicate with residents in relation to water shedding is of concern.
“BPRA notes with concern that these new developments come at the backdrop of diarrhoea in Pumula (Ward 17 and 19) and residents fear this might spread to surrounding areas, lest we forget the tragic 2020 Luveve gastrointestinal crisis which led to the loss of more than 2- precious lives which to date remain unaccounted for,” said Dube.