New Zimbabwe (London)

30 August 2014

Zimbabwe: Serious Water Crisis Hits City

Photo: Eva Bartlett/IPS
A little boy enjoying the precious liquid (file photo).

ZIMBABWE'S second biggest city of Bulawayo is experiencing a serious water crisis that has seen some residents go without the precious liquid since Thursday.

The Bulawayo City Council has warned residents that the situation is likely to continue for the coming week before normal supplies are restored.

In a statement seen by NewZimbabwe.com, the council's spokesperson, Nesisa Mpofu, said this was due to routine maintenance works at its Criterion Clear Water Supply Reservoir in the city.

"The public is advised that council is currently carrying out reservoir cleaning at the Criterion Clear Water Supply Reservoir. Unforeseen complications have however, arisen within the system resulting in reduced supply to all distribution reservoirs supplied by Criterion," Mpofu said.

Mpofu said in order to build up the Magwegwe water reservoir levels, council has initiated water shedding which will last up to Tuesday.

"Regrettably, all the western suburbs will not have water until the situation improves. Meanwhile, the public is advised that water bowsers have been arranged to service the affected suburbs and council wishes to apologise to its valued consumers for any inconveniences," she said.

The critical water shortage is already forcing some residents to travel to town to fetch water from friends and relatives while some residents have resorted to fetching water from unprotected sources.

Over the years, Bulawayo has been facing perennial water shortages which have been attributed to the increasing demand in the city.

At the height of the crisis, the city was forced to introduce 96 hours of water shedding. The city's population currently stands at about 1.5 million and the last dam to be built was commissioned in 1976.

Since then no single dam has been built to correspond to the city's increasing population. The city's dams are also heavily silted due to upstream gold panning.

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