Bulawayo running dry: Only 6 months of water left

Bulawayo is facing a severe water crisis, with only enough water left to supply the city for six months, according to Ward 26 councillor Mpumelelo Moyo.

Moyo raised his concerns at a full council meeting, urging the Future Water Supplies and Water Action Committee to find solutions to the water crisis and provide residents with alternative water sources.

Bulawayo is currently under a 72-hour water-shedding schedule, but residents often go for longer periods without running water.

“The committee must be finding solutions to the water crisis,” Moyo stated. “According to the presented figures, the amount of water left from the sources can only sustain the city for six months. But if we also look at the current consumption rate, that water may barely go beyond three months.”

Moyo expressed his worries about the city’s growing population and the increasing demand for water. He questioned the engineering department’s lack of concrete solutions, as they only present statistics without providing actionable plans.

“Your Worship, our city is growing. We have massive development both in the low-density and high-density areas so we need more water supply,” he emphasized. “Last time, there was a request to the engineering department to assist with a proposal to build a dam. I am very worried because all we are getting in their reports are statistics with no solutions.”

Moyo urged the committee to focus on immediate solutions, complementing the government’s long-term plan to build the Gwayi-Shangani dam.

“I urge the committee to work on immediate solutions,” he appealed. “It must complement the government’s efforts. The government is working on the Gwayi-Shangani dam, but as a city in crisis, we need something short-term. When we look at the amount of water that is currently available and the consumption rate, we can see that the water is not enough.”

The chairperson of the committee, Cllr Edwin Ndlovu, acknowledged the concerns raised and assured the council that plans were underway to address the water shortage.

“The concerns raised are noted,” Ndlovu stated. “We have made proposals, and hopefully in the next meeting, we shall have finer details. Unfortunately, the minutes of the meeting we held as a committee yesterday could not be immediately incorporated into today’s full council.”

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