BCC mulls water cuts exemptions
Storm destroys nine schools
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