Ward 20 councillor, Alderman Earnest Rafamoyo says residents should brace themselves for a repeat of the 2007 situation when the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) struggled to provide quality services to residents due to the economic collapse.
During 2007-2008 period the city`s service delivery system collapsed with residents enduring regular sewer bursts, water shortages, deplorable road network and uncollected garbage.
Cllr Rafamoyo said the local authority is already struggling to provide certain services due to budgetary constraints and fuel shortages.
Addressing residents at a feedback meeting on Sunday, Cllr Rafamoyo said most services are at a standstill because of the fuel situation.
“The sewer situation is going back to the situation in 2007 due to the economic situation. Our cars do not have diesel, workers come to work daily but they cannot attend to any burst sewers as long as they do not have fuel. I am sure you noticed that fuel prices went up thrice this week alone,” Cllr Raramoyo said.
He also berated residents for raising objections each time the local authority proposes a hike in service charges and rates.
“There are price hikes for fuel almost every week in the country, but as the local authority when we come back to the people saying we want to increase charges for service delivery, people complain that they do not have money.
“The burst sewer pipes, in essence, should be treated as soon as possible, but due to the fuel situation it is impossible,” he said.
“But these days the situation is that workers have to queue for fuel, last week employees had no diesel for the whole week. So basically, when it comes to burst sewer pipes that is the reason why workers have been dragging to attend to them, I have not heard an update concerning the improvement of the situation but at the meantime that is our state.”
Cllr Rafamoyo said they take the Bulawayo Solid Waste Improvement Platform (BSWIP) will be tasked with attending to some of these issues.
“BSWIP project will, however, be able to attend and manage the red spot zones for example when sewer pipes collapse.”
Meanwhile, BCC senior environment officer Nkanyiso Ndlovu recently told a Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) stakeholder meeting that the local authority was also having challenges of acquiring sewer disinfectants.
“We usually import disinfectants to put after we service burst sewer, but of late the local authority has no funds to secure those hence the reason why workers no longer spray after managing the sewer,” said Ndlovu.