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Residents petition council after going for a year without water

Some Pumula South residents have petitioned the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) after enduring almost a year without water despite the improved water supplies in the city.

The petition was directed to the Town Clerk Christopher Dube, the Mayor Solomon Mguni, Chairperson of the BCC future water supplies committee, Alderman Siboniso Khumalo and the Director of Engineering Services Engineer Simela Dube.

The petition received 311 signatures.

Residents in the area said they last received water supplies in early 2020.

“We the undersigned are residents of Pumula South, Habek section and are concerned with the continued water unavailability in some sections of our community which affects human rights,” said the residents.

According to the petition at least 297 houses are still not receiving water in their taps

“Our area last received water in early 2020 and water only comes to one section of the community. The affected section incorporates house numbers 14968-15265 which is above 297 households. We have reported the issue numerous times to BCC in the year 2020 and got reference numbers 2003W953 and 2008W275.”

The residents also highlighted that the bowsers which deliver water to the residents once or twice a week don’t carry adequate water to meet the demand.

“We appreciate the bowsers that come once or twice a week but most of the time it doesn’t have enough water for all of us. We also appreciate the local borehole but it has become a danger as in 2020 as we had 2 girls being attacked in 2020, one rapped and one stoned,” they said.

“Some council officials have said they suspect we are in high lying areas and whilst we appreciate the explanation, we surely believe something can be done for us to receive tap water also.”

The residents appealed to the municipality to send a team of engineers to investigate the matter.

“At least ensure that we also enjoy the right to water by closing other sections and allow our section to have the pressure that will push water to our section,” said the residents. 

Contacted for a comment, Alderman Siboniso Khumalo said he is aware of the issue and the local authority is still trying to fix the situation.

“The first thing is that Habek did not do the handover takeover until BCC later realized that there was a problem, the council then intervened as efforts to help residents, unfortunately in 2020 there was a serious water crisis in the area as it is on high lying ground, so we had thought the problem will be better when water-shedding was eased but we realised it is still not reaching that area,” said Alderman Khumalo.

“I had alerted residents that we are doing something as Council  but they think we are not taking any action hence the petition, but we have spoken with the BCC engineers  and I understand the engineers have alerted Habek concerning this problem, I am sure they will go there to inspect what could be the cause hence thus why they are given bowsers for the time being.”

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