Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo went for almost a week without municipal water and had to resort to a bucket system to supply water at the institution due to burst pipes.
The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) confirmed that Mpilo experienced two incidents of burst pipes which affected the water supply.
The development forced the health institution and other suburbs to look for alternative means of accessing water.
Sources within Mpilo Central Hospital said to alleviate a health crisis, the hospital had to use buckets, carrying water from boreholes.
“We had to use a bucket system for days, almost a week now. We have boreholes and reservoirs; every hospital has to have a bucket system ready for such eventualities,” sources said.
Initially, Mpilo staff assumed it was water shedding, although the institution is exempted from the exercise but later learnt the shortages were due to a burst pipe.
“There was a big burst at the pipes along Amakhosi Cultural Centre. It is not loadshedding. But we wonder why the council was not fixing the pipes,” a source said.
Mpilo Acting Chief Executive Officer, Professor Solwayo Ngwenya, referred questions to BCC.
BCC Corporate Communications Manager, Nesisa Mpofu, explained that Mpilo Hospital was initially affected by a burst water pipe which occurred in Sizinda on the line feeding water to the Rifle Range Reservoir from which Mpilo Hospital and other areas are supplied.
“The burst occurred on Friday and was attended to and supplies were restored thereafter. The second burst water pipe occurred earlier today (Wednesday) after supplies had been restored near the Amakhosi Cultural Centre,” she told CITE after making an inquiry.
Mpofu said the second water pipe burst occurred during the night but a team had completed work on it.
“Yes, the team was on site and repairs were completed this afternoon at 14:30 hours,” said the BCC Corporate Communications Manager.
The BCC official also noted that the council did supply a water bowser to augment supplies at Mpilo Central Hospital.
Other areas that were affected by the pipe bursts included Barbourfields, Mzilikazi, Nguboyenja, Makokoba, Northend Harrisvale, Trenance, Sauerstown among others.
“Yes, water supplies have been restored,” Mpofu said.