Coun­cil eases wa­ter cri­sis Sup­plies high-ly­ing ar­eas, schools, clin­ics and funer­als

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

THE Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil (BCC) has ex­panded the pro­vi­sion of wa­ter bowsers for high-ly­ing ar­eas, schools and clin­ics as well as at funer­als in an ef­fort to ease the wa­ter cri­sis af­fect­ing the city.

Coun­cil said the pro­gramme has al­ways been avail­able, but was intensified when wa­ter shed­ding started a few weeks ago. In­sti­tu­tions such as schools are sup­plied at a fee.

The lo­cal au­thor­ity in­tro­duced a weekly 48 hour wa­ter shed­ding sched­ule be­fore re­view­ing it to 72 hours last week as the amount of wa­ter in sup­ply dams and reser­voirs has gone be­yond crit­i­cal lev­els.

Coun­cil­lors re­jected the 72 hours wa­ter pro­gramme, but some res­i­dents are not hav­ing wa­ter for longer pe­ri­ods.

Coun­cil spokesper­son, Mrs Ne­sisa Mpofu said coun­cil had re­solved to sup­ply wa­ter to high ly­ing ar­eas to make life eas­ier for res­i­dents.

She said the pro­gramme is meant to en­sure that wa­ter is pro­vided to sub­urbs in the event of pro­longed de­lays in restor­ing wa­ter sup­plies. The af­fected ar­eas in­clude Pu­mula, Cow­dray Park, Em­gan­wini, Mag­wegwe, Nku­lumane, Gwa­ba­landa, Loben­gula, Njube, Tre­nance and Khami Prison.

“The res­i­dents ben­e­fit from the pro­gramme as long as the wa­ter shed­ding is on-go­ing. It is tar­geted at the high ly­ing ar­eas where wa­ter doesn’t reach within short pe­ri­ods when sup­plies are re­stored.

“We also tar­get ar­eas that have their ser­vices dis­rupted due to bursts and other op­er­a­tional chal­lenges,” said Mrs Mpofu.

She said the wa­ter bowsers also sup­ply funer­als when the area is un­der wa­ter shed­ding.

“All re­quests for bowsers are done by the lo­cal coun­cil­lor through the City of Bu­l­awayo call cen­tre. Bowsers fol­low the des­ig­nated points in­di­cated on the map only for the af­fected ar­eas and not to in­di­vid­ual houses,” said Mrs Mpofu.

She urged res­i­dents to take note of the des­ig­nated points in their ar­eas.

“In cases of emer­gen­cies, in­sti­tu­tions such as schools and clin­ics are as­sisted when they do not have ad­e­quate sup­plies as we en­cour­age them to store wa­ter in their tanks. For in­sti­tu­tions, the wa­ter sup­plied is done at a fee,” said Mrs Mpofu.

Res­i­dents in Em­gan­wini, Emakhan­deni, Cow­dray Park and some parts of Nku­lumane have com­plained that the city coun­cil was not fol­low­ing its wa­ter shed­ding sched­ule as they were go­ing for longer pe­ri­ods with­out wa­ter.

Mrs Mpofu said if the sit­u­a­tion per­sists, dras­tic mea­sures will be taken to con­serve the lit­tle amount of wa­ter avail­able in dams.

She warned res­i­dents against wast­ing and hoard­ing wa­ter, say­ing more strin­gent mea­sures would be ap­plied if con­sumers are found to be wast­ing it.

At the height of wa­ter shed­ding in 2013, Bu­l­awayo res­i­dents went with­out wa­ter for up to four days in a week. — @pame­lashumba1

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