BCC mulls wa­ter cuts ex­emp­tions

Storm de­stroys nine schools

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Aux­ilia Ka­ton­go­mara Chron­i­cle Re­porter Sukul­wenkosi-Dube-Matutu Plumtree Cor­re­spon­dent

THE Bulawayo City Coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing ex­empt­ing low-ly­ing sub­urbs in the city from wa­ter shed­ding to ease pres­sure build up in pipes which re­sults in bursts.

Coun­cil says it has not been ex­empt­ing the sub­urbs in fear of a back­lash from other res­i­dents.

Res­i­dents in Northend, Pad­don­hurst, Makokoba and Mzi­likazi might be ex­cluded from the shed­ding sched­ule if the lo­cal au­thor­ity adopts a rec­om­men­da­tion to ex­empt them.

This emerged dur­ing the Wa­ter Cri­sis Com­mit­tee meet­ing in the coun­cil cham­bers yes­ter­day.

There is a 72-hour weekly wa­ter shed­ding sched­ule for all sur­bubs in the city as coun­cil bat­tles to con­serve dwin­dling wa­ter sup­plies.

Speak­ing at the meet­ing, the di­rec­tor of engi­neer­ing ser­vices, En­gi­neer Simela Dube said: “Shed­ding Northend and Pad­don­hurst in­curs more costs. If it were not for pol­i­tics we wouldn’t shed them. Sometimes you will re­alise that when we shed these ar­eas we open wa­ter af­ter one day to ease the pres­sure from the pipes”.

He said the pres­sure build up in the pipes re­sults in con­tin­u­ous bursts in the sub­urbs.

“Mainly it’s Northend and Pad­don­hurst which are greatly af­fected but it also af­fects Makokoba and Mzi­likazi,” said Eng Dube.

He said the pro­posal would be tabled be­fore coun­cil and the nec­es­sary pro­ce­dures done be­fore it is im­ple­mented.

The is­sue of pipe bursts arose af­ter a stake­holder at the meet­ing asked why coun­cil does not ex­empt Northend and Pad­don­hurst sub­urbs as it loses a lot of wa­ter af­ter shed­ding them.

The Mayor, Coun­cil­lor Martin Moyo, said the city’s engi­neer­ing de­part­ment should work on how they could le­galise the pro­posal to avoid shed­ding the ar­eas to avoid wa­ter loss.

Pre­sent­ing wa­ter sta­tis­tics, act­ing prin­ci­pal op­er­a­tions en­gi­neer, Mrs Mercy Ncube, said re­ports of wa­ter bursts had de­clined and the wa­ter had main­tained its qual­ity.

“We have main­tained our qual­ity. It’s still good. We also try to re­pair leaks and bursts ev­ery day to avoid los­ing more wa­ter. Be­fore wa­ter shed­ding was in­tro­duced we would re­ceive about four re­ports of pipe bursts and they have re­duced to two per day or none at all,” said Mrs Ncube.

She said the city six sup­ply dams hold 28,45 per­cent of their com­bined ca­pac­ity, a de­crease from last month’s 30,50 per­cent.

Mrs Ncube said the dams had re­ceived a neg­li­gi­ble 1,4 mil­lion cu­bic me­tres of wa­ter from the rains.

Act­ing deputy di­rec­tor of engi­neer­ing, En­gi­neer Mente Ndlovu dis­missed spec­u­la­tion on so­cial me­dia that wa­ter bowsers were rusty and the wa­ter was not suit­able for con­sump­tion.

“Bowsers are made of stain­less steel and it does not rust. What peo­ple saw was a bowser mounted on a rusty truck. A TO­TAL of nine schools in Mangwe District have been dam­aged by a hail­storm that left two peo­ple in­jured.

Sev­eral home­steads in the district were also dam­aged by the hail­storm. The hail­storm first struck on Fri­day night and hit the same area on Sun­day caus­ing se­vere dam­age.

About 10 home­steads and shops at Dukwe Busi­ness Cen­tre in Mad­abe Ward were also de­stroyed and two vil­lagers, one of them a ju­ve­nile, sus­tained some in­juries.

Mangwe District Schools In­spec­tor, Mr Danisa Nkomo, said the af­fected schools are Makuzeze, Khahlu, Tjingaba­bili, Nguwanyana, Sil­ima and Bulu pri­mary schools as well as Mqokol­weni, Ta­hangana and St Fran­cis se­condary schools.

“Nine schools from my district were af­fected by hail­storms which hit the area and these schools are all in need of as­sis­tance. The worst af­fected are Tjingaba­bili and Nguwanyana Pri­mary Schools.

Bowsers are chem­i­cally flushed and if there was beer be­fore there would be no smell or sign of it,” said Eng Ndlovu.

Coun­cil is work­ing on a num­ber of projects to aug­ment wa­ter from the dams among them the Ep­ping For­est pro­ject, Nya­mandlovu Ac­quifer and con­sid­er­ing the ex­pan­sion of un­der­ground wa­ter ex­trac­tion.

The Mayor en­cour­aged Bulawayo res­i­dents and the Chris­tian com­mu­nity to pray for rains.

Mean­while, the Evan­gel­i­cal Fel­low­ship of Zim­babwe and other churches in con­juc­tion with the city coun­cil will be con­duct­ing prayers for rains at the Large City Hall on Thurs­day next week.

Pas­tor El­liot Man­daza said the one and half hour prayer meet­ings are open to everyone.

“On Thurs­day De­cem­ber 8 we are go­ing to have our prayers for rains from 12:30PM to 2PM,” he said.

Pas­tor Man­daza said the prayer points would be on the rains, de­vel­op­ment of the city and pros­per­ity of the coun­try.

“In Tjingaba­bili all the class­room blocks and teach­ers’ cot­tages were dam­aged and they need re­pair­ing while at Nguwanyana Pri­mary the roof­ing to one class­room block was blown away. All these schools have not re­ceived any as­sis­tance.

“School au­thor­i­ties have tried to en­gage par­ents in or­der to mo­bilise re­sources for re­pairs but that isn’t enough. These schools need to be re­paired soon so that lessons are not dis­rupted next term,” he said.

Tjingaba­bili Pri­mary School deputy head­mas­ter Mr Chamunorwa Midzi said the school needed $20 000 for re­pairs. He said they needed to re­place the roof­ing and win­dows to all class­rooms and teach­ers’ cot­tages.

Com­put­ers, a printer, roof­ing, win­dow panes, text books, ex­er­cise books and elec­tric gad­gets at the school were also dam­aged by the rains.

In the neigh­bour­ing Bulil­ima District, 50 home­steads in Bam­badzi Ward were re­cently de­stroyed by a hail­storm which hit the area. Vil­lagers also lost their live­stock. — @ DubeMatutu

“We have those doc­tors in our hos­pi­tals to this day, the med­i­cal per­son­nel. We have them now as I speak. And this was being done by a Cuba that was in dif­fi­cul­ties eco­nom­i­cally be­cause of the sanc­tions im­posed un­fairly on it by Amer­ica.”

He thanked Cubans for their re­silience in with­stand­ing over half a cen­tury of an il­le­gal western block­ade say­ing this con­nected them with the peo­ple of Africa.

“And we want to thank the peo­ple of Cuba for their spirit of en­durance, bear­ing this suf­fer­ing from sanc­tions. It is that spirit that has iden­ti­fied the peo­ple of Cuba with the peo­ple of Africa and has made us one in our strug­gle,” Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe said.

As such it can be said for Zim­babwe apart from holis­tic in­de­pen­dence and democ­racy, Cde Cas­tro’s legacy lives on in the on­go­ing STEM ini­tia­tive pi­o­neered by the sci­ence and math­e­mat­ics ed­u­ca­tion pro­gramme, the Look East pol­icy he again pi­o­neered af­ter a fall­out with western rab­ble rousers, and man­power de­vel­op­ment.

To­day many of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries of Cde Cas­tro’s vi­sion are mem­bers of the Zim­babwe Cuba Friend­ship As­so­ci­a­tion (Zicufa) that continues to pur­sue syn­er­gies of en­hanc­ing the strong bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween Harare and Ha­vana.

Un­der Cas­tro, Cuba had the best lit­er­acy rate in the world be­cause it spent five times as much on ed­u­ca­tion as war — the op­po­site of what Amer­ica does. In fact, Cuba achieves the same health care sys­tem out­comes as the United States at only 5 per­cent the cost.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe is ac­com­pa­nied by For­eign Af­fairs min­is­ter Sim­barashe Mum­bengegwi, Health and Child Care min­is­ter Dr David Parireny­atwa and se­nior Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials.

He was wel­comed at Jose Marti In­ter­na­tional Air­port by am­bas­sador to Cuba Ig­natius Mudz­imba, Cuba’s Jus­tice Min­is­ter and em­bassy staff. THE Gov­ern­ment does not con­done witch-hunt­ing prac­tices that have be­come ram­pant coun­try­wide and has not li­censed any­one to con­duct such ac­tiv­i­ties, In­for­ma­tion, Me­dia and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices Min­is­ter Dr Christo­pher Mushohwe said yes­ter­day.

This comes af­ter police yes­ter­day also said they had noted with con­cern the ram­pant ex­tor­tion on mem­bers of the pub­lic by self-styled prophets and tsika­mu­tan­das.

In a state­ment, Dr Mushohwe said dur­ing a Cab­i­net meet­ing on Mon­day, such ac­tiv­i­ties were de­clared crim­i­nal, fraud­u­lent and ex­tor­tion­ist.

“Cab­i­net noted with much re­gret and con­cern that a sig­nif­i­cant part of tra­di­tional leaders em­brac­ing chiefs, head­men and vil­lage heads are by com­mis­sion or omis­sion con­don­ing this evil, prim­i­tive, ex­tor­tion­ist and il­le­gal prac­tice that is con­demned by our na­tional laws,” he said.

“Fur­ther­more, the un­scrupu­lous per­pe­tra­tors and ac­com­plices of witch-hunt­ing have mis­rep­re­sented to com­mu­ni­ties claim­ing that they had been per­mit­ted by the Gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties to carry out the il­le­gal ac­tiv­ity,” he said.

Dr Mushohwe said the Gov­ern­ment was call­ing upon any­one who might have fallen vic­tim to the witch-hun­ters to report the mat­ter to the law en­force­ment agen­cies so that the cul­prits could be brought to book and com­pen­sa­tion paid.

“The Min­is­ter of Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment, Pro­mo­tion and Preser­va­tion of Cul­ture and Her­itage, Hon­ourable Abed­nico Ncube has been di­rected to, work­ing closely with law-en­force­ment agen­cies and tra­di­tional leaders, en­sure that the re­pug­nant ex­tor­tion­ist prac­tice of witch­hunt­ing is im­me­di­ately brought to an end coun­try­wide,” he said.

Bulawayo City Coun­cil Prin­ci­pal Chemist Mr Clout Moyo (left) speaks about wa­ter clean­li­ness dur­ing the city coun­cil wa­ter cri­sis meet­ing in the coun­cil cham­bers yes­ter­day. — Pic­ture by Den­nis Mudza­miri

Dr Christo­pher Mushohwe

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