Government has released ZWL$10.6 million to the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) towards the rehabilitation of 15 boreholes at the Nyamandlovu aquifer, a development expected to increase water supply to Bulawayo.
Currently, the country’s second-largest city consumes three megalitres a day due to diminished water levels, while the total water supply stands at 31 percent.
Two dams have been decommissioned and Lower Ncema is earmarked for decommissioning in May 2020, a move that will bring more severe water shortages.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday at Thorngrove Infectious Disease Hospital, Minister of State for Bulawayo Metropolitan Province Judith Ncube said the allocation to ZINWA would increase water supplies to the city.
“I am therefore pleased to announce that the government has allocated ZINWA ZWL$10.6 million for the rehabilitation of the Nyamandlovu boreholes. This will lead to the rehabilitation of 15 boreholes that will increases quantities from an average of three megalitres per day to eight megalitres per day,” she said.
“We note that this will increase the raw water being received in the city. We are advised that there is a consideration for the completion of the Epping Forest Project and other proposed initiatives. As I speak five boreholes have already been sighted in Lobengula Extension, Old Magwegwe, Magwegwe West, Pelandaba, Pumula South and Nkulumane.”
The provincial minister acknowledged it was the state’s responsibility to provide water at all times to make sure residents had the resource at their disposal.
“The province has been affected by perennial water shortages over the years coupled with growing city demand. As you all aware COVID-19 has called on all of us to exercise a high level of hygiene by frequently washing our hands using soap and running water,” Ncube noted.
Ncube urged residents to continue to preserve the limited water, as the city waits for the next rainy season.
“In addition, our city council recently introduced a 120-hour water shedding schedule to stretch the currently available water supplies,” she said.
Regarding the National Zambezi Water Project, which is also expected to supply the city and southern region with more water, the state minister claimed a lot of work had been done on the dam, with only the installation of the pipeline left.
“I wish you could go and see the dam, there’s a lot that has been done there. A lot that is happening. When you have a chance, please cover our achievements so that me we pride ourselves that at least something is being done. I wish you could go there and show people what is happening. What is left is the pipeline but there’s been some good progress,” Ncube claimed.