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Councillors want private water suppliers vetted

Bulawayo Councillors have raised concern at the mushrooming private entities supplying residents with bulk water without the approval of the local authority.

The City of Bulawayo is currently facing one of its worst water crisis with residents only getting water once a week.  

Council has been struggling to deliver water to areas hard hit by water shortages and this has seen private companies taking advantage of this gap to sell bulk water to residents.  

Speaking during a full council meeting held last week, the Deputy Mayor Mlandu Ncube said the local authority has no control over the private companies.

“I think we are slowly losing it, we are not controlling who is giving water to our people, if you go to Kelvin, many people have now drilled boreholes and they are now selling water, so we are not controlling who is giving residents water,” said Councillor Ncube.

He said it was only ideal for the BCC to certify those fit to supply residents with water.

“And let us make them public, so that we can guarantee that it’s tested water and safe, as it is, we are just letting residents drink whatever they see flowing and think it’s safe water to consume,” he said.

“I was around Khami dam and I saw a bowser which is not a council bowser drawing water there, I instantly, the problem that we have, let’s say he is taking the water for construction purposes but he will be the same person who supplies residents with water.”

Ward 22 Councillor Rodney Jele said it was important for the local authority to monitor private individuals supplying water to residents.

“I know there are many people who have donated water to different suburbs, not only those whom we have here, my question is are we monitoring those people who are donating water using bowsers to our communities because my thinking is that we should monitor everyone who is donating water because we will have problems where we have disease outbreaks due to these bowsers,” he said.

“Some of them we do not even know but we are just grateful that they are supplying water and assisting us, do we even test this water to ensure that it is safe for residents to drink.”.

Councillor Jele noted that it was prudent for Council to increase their bowser fleet to meet the demand for water.

Currently, the local authority is using six water bowsers.

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