Byo res­i­dents warned against hoard­ing water

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pamela Shumba Se­nior Re­porter

THE Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil has warned res­i­dents against hoard­ing and wasting water, say­ing the city is go­ing through a crit­i­cal water shortage.

The city coun­cil in­tro­duced a 48-hour water shed­ding pro­gramme on Mon­day to pre­serve the lit­tle water avail­able in the city’s sup­ply dams.

Water shed­ding is a sys­tem of con­serv­ing tap water by cut­ting sup­plies for a fixed pe­riod.

Some res­i­dents are, how­ever, hoard­ing water by fill­ing up big con­tain­ers and tubs, which they empty and fill with fresh water when their taps start run­ning.

BCC Se­nior Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, Mrs Ne­sisa Mpofu, urged res­i­dents to con­serve water.

“The city is go­ing through a water shortage pe­riod. We’re there­fore en­cour­ag­ing res­i­dents not to hoard water. We urge them to store water prop­erly and use it spar­ingly. Peo­ple should re­mem­ber that we’re ra­tioning water be­cause dam lev­els are crit­i­cally low and we have to save the lit­tle water that we have. Water is treated and ev­ery drop should be used spar­ingly. Res­i­dents should also re­mem­ber that there are penal­ties for those who ex­ceed their limit,” said Mrs Mpofu.

Ini­tially, coun­cil had pro­posed to in­tro­duce a 24-hour water shed­ding sched­ule for res­i­dents start­ing this month.

Mrs Mpofu said the sit­u­a­tion was wors­ened by re­duced water sup­plies to the city due to a burst on the Mt­shabezi pipe­line.

She said the amount of water in the dams dropped to 30,50 per­cent from last month’s fig­ure of 32,25 per­cent.

The to­tal vol­ume is 126 452 645 cu­bic me­tres of which the us­able vol­ume is 109 867 537 cu­bic me­tres.

Dur­ing the same pe­riod last year, the op­er­a­tional dams con­tained 193 843 440 cu­bic me­tres of water, which trans­lated to 46,75 per­cent, which is 16,25 per­cent more than the cur­rent stor­age. Up­per Ncema was de­com­mis­sioned in July and Umz­ing­wane Dam was de­com­mis­sioned on Oc­to­ber 16.

At the height of water shed­ding in 2013, Bu­l­awayo res­i­dents went with­out water for up to four days in a week.

For years, Bu­l­awayo has been un­der a strict water ra­tioning regime and res­i­dents are pe­nalised if they ex­ceed a fixed daily con­sump­tion rate.

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.

Coun­cil also 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. — @pame­lashumba

Mrs Ne­sisa Mpofu

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