Byo residents warned against hoarding water
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