9 January 2013

Zimbabwe: No End in Sight for Byo Water Troubles

He said: "There is no denying that the city has received rainfall in the last two months, however, the inflow has not been significant enough to either lift the water rationing programme or raise the water level in the dams."

"The dams still have very low levels of water and the rationing will have to continue until we harvest enough water. If we stop water rationing, the city might run dry in less than two months."

Currently, the city is on a tight water rationing programme.

City fathers have declared the water shortages a disaster although government is downplaying the crisis.

Water Resources Development and Management Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo is of the view that the water woes affecting Bulawayo are no different from the situation prevailing in the rest of the country.

Bulawayo has been pinning its hopes on the completion of the Umtshabezi pipeline but the project has taken too long to complete.

This has forced the city fathers to consider other plans to improve the water supply situation.

"If we follow the government's pace we will fail to deliver on our duties to the people. Last year, we held a water summit where we came up with contingency plans to help with the water situation and we are now embarking on those mainly the Insiza pipeline as well as the drilling of more boreholes in the Nyamandlovu aquifer," said Moyo.

Anglistone Sibanda, a member of the National Zambezi Water Project steering committee, said it was still too early for residents to expect the rains to have improved the water situation in Bulawayo.

"People should not be impatient as the dams have not collected enough water; the rains just came last month hence it is too early to expect council to do away with water rationing, and people should capitalise on the rain and harvest water as much as possible as a way of saving water," said Sibanda.

He added: "We are still waiting for Nkomo's promise to Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association Social Accountability Conference at the City Hall that water would be coming out of their taps in November . . . to date we are waiting for that".

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