BCC to set up water crisis committee
THE Bulawayo City Council is setting up a stakeholders’ water crisis committee to deal with the city’s deepening water crisis.
On Tuesday, council wrote to its major stakeholders inviting them to provide volunteers wishing to be part of the committee.
“The City of Bulawayo is in the process of implementing a water shedding programme so as to counter a water crisis that may befall the City.
The City has thus deemed it necessary to revive the Water Crisis Committee which will be comprised of various stakeholders,” wrote Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube.
He said the committee’s terms of reference include monitoring the water crisis, recommending possible solutions as well as contributing material, financial and expertise towards the management of the crisis.
According to council, the committee is expected to hold its first meeting on October 25 at the City Hall.
The BCC is set to introduce water shedding early next month.
Water shedding is a system of conserving tap water by cutting supplies for a fixed period.
At the height of water shedding in 2013, Bulawayo residents went without water for up to four days in a week.
Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo has warned a 48-hour schedule may be implemented if residents do not conserve water.
He said water levels at the city’s six supply dams — Insiza, Mtshabezi, Umzingwane, Inyankuni, Upper and Lower Ncema — stand at less than 30 percent of their cumulative capacity.
“This is a serious predicament we’re facing. The only way the city can be spared from shedding is if we receive substantial rains in the interim.
“As long as no water flows into the dams we will have to go through with water shedding. We might be looking at 48 hours per week but depending on the severity we might push to 72 hours. We’re hoping that it doesn’t get that bad,” said Clr Moyo.
Households in high density suburbs are expected to use 450 litres per day while those in low density suburbs are limited to 550 litres per day.
In July 2011, the city introduced stringent fines for people who waste water.
Fines for residents found using a hosepipe were hiked to $1 500 from $200.
The previous year, council announced that people caught using domestic water for construction would be fined $1 000 up from $30 and those who use water for brick moulding would also pay $1 000.
Experts have argued that Bulawayo is not a water shortage area but the city is facing challenges in extracting available water for use. — @AuxiliaK.