Stick to the water shedding schedule, BCC urged

Bulawayo councillors have called on the local authority to stick to stipulated water shedding schedules as this affects residents who do not have alternative water sources in their suburbs.

Residents are currently enduring a 72-hour water shedding which has seen some residents resorting to unsafe water sources.

The city is also battling a diarrhoea outbreak with over 1000 cases confirmed so far.  

Speaking during a full council meeting held at the Council Chambers, Wednesday, ward 15 councillor Febbie Msipa said her ward has no boreholes and it becomes difficult for residents when the council does not restore water supplies as advertised.

 “We know that we have water shedding since we are talking about dam levels decreasing but my plea is for the council to stick to the stipulated times for opening water in certain suburbs because some residents don’t have enough buckets to keep water because they will be expecting to go without running water for 72 hours,” said Cllr Msipa.

“In ward 15 there are no boreholes, people don’t have other alternative sources of water, it is really difficult, is it not possible for the committee to decrease the water shedding hours for those suburbs because in Luveve there are no boreholes at all.”

Ward 22, Councillor Rodney Jele said Council should work closely with the meteorological services department so that the local authority can be aware of the weather forecast and prepare for the next year.

In addition, Councillor Mlandu Ncube said there is a need for annual visits to the city’s supply dams so that residents can be aware of what is happening in the supply dams.

 “Our water crisis started very early, is it possible for the committee to organise for the residents, journalists and for us to go and see the dam levels because there are some people who believe that we are just not giving them water,” he said.

“That annual visit that we normally do, please organise it before the year-end so that when we tell residents to use water sparingly, they will know what we mean.”

Ward 5 councillor Felix Mhaka said there is a need for strategies as water challenges are not a new thing and the city is growing.

“The city is growing but when we look at the state of affairs in terms of water, I think it’s a matter of concern, I want to find out from the committee what is their plan, especially on the issue of water challenges because this is not a new issue, it’s been a continuous challenge which we know and we want to hear from the department about their strategy for next year so that we won’t be talking about the same problem,” said Cllr Mhaka.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Future water and water action committee Alderman Ernest Rafamoyo said there are plans meant to deal with water challenges in the city.

“Yes there are plans, especially we are talking about boreholes, we have increased our boreholes and they were pumping 10 megalitres from Nyamandlovu but then after the theft of transformers we went back to 4 megalitres which is a minus but we are going to seat and tell you the plans after we have agreed because Nyamandlovu is not run by the City of Bulawayo, Bulawayo just receives water then there is ZESA and ZINWA, we must seat down with those two and engage them for the boreholes to be ring-fenced and ask that the water be directed only top Bulawayo instead of again being diverted to farmers,” said Cllr Rafamoyo.

Mayor Solomon Mguni also said there is great progress in the Gwayi-Shangani dam project and residents might be able to receive water by next year.

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