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Bulawayo dam levels improve

Bulawayo supply dams are now at 60 percent full with the local authority reducing the water-shedding period to 72 hours this week.

While other dams in the country are full, the city’s supply dams all located in Matabeleland South are still lagging behind raising concerns that the residents might experience water shortages in the near future.

Speaking during an engagement meeting on the water situation organised by Habakkuk Trust on Tuesday, Director of Engineering Engineer Simela Dube said while water levels have improved, uMzingwane Dam was still 34 percent full.

“After yesterday’s (Monday) rains we are now at 60 percent overall, but Umzingwane which is to me is our critical dam still sits at around 34percent because if electricity switches off our system doesn’t balance,” said Eng Dube.

Engineer Dube also encouraged residents to conserve water as this might lead to an early suspension of the water shedding programme.

“The 72 hour means we will only have restrictions three days in a week, otherwise you have got water for four days on the trot and then three days off the trot but depending on the supplies the intention really is to relax further at least 48 hours and the road map being that by the 15th of March, we should have gone back to normal supplies. But as consumers restrict or conserve, we might be able to reach that stage earlier than the 15th of March,” said Eng Dube. 

Meanwhile, the Deputy Mayor Councillor Mlandu Ncube said the local authority has taken delivery of the correct non-return valves and installation was in progress.  

In January, the local authority delayed the commissioning of the new raw water pumps after they discovered that four of the six non-return valves failed due to design and manufacturing defects. 

“The pumps in our pump stations are being revamped as you’re all aware that there was the issue of wrong valves purchased and I can confirm say that we got the correct one and that is a sign that we are establishing to change those valves,” said Cllr Ncube. 

“I think on the infrastructure side our department is doing well and we are almost complete, so as soon as we address those things we are going to be at least on the greener side, but if all is said and done the final thing that is important is to pay for the services

“Our residents are not working, our residents are suffering but water needs to be treated, water needs to be pumped, electricity needs to be paid for, so we try to come up with means that will make our residents pay for those services so that we get quality service at the time.” 

The Deputy Mayor also added that there has been significant progress with the Epping Forest project which will supply the city with an additional 10Ml/day. 

“We are happy ZINWA is almost done with Epping Forest that will supply our City and I think they will contribute to 10 mega liters a day which is a long way to assist us in time, if that is complete and Gwai-Shangani is done, I think for now we might be a bit safe,” he said. 

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