Zimbabwe: Bulawayo Water Crisis Hits Business

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Tap water (file photo).

The business community in Bulawayo would meet the city council executives today to discuss the prolonged shut down in water supplies, which they say is negatively affecting their operations.

Although the council has said the water cuts, which are entering into the second week, are meant to facilitate critical water pumping infrastructure repairs and upgrades, the decision has pushed rate payers and business to the corner.

Association for Business in Zimbabwe (ABUZ) chief executive officer, Mr Victor Nyoni, said interruption of water supplies was threatening production and business viability for their members who rely mostly on water.

"The manufacturing side of business has been affected and also the hotel industry and clothing. If you go to companies that are manufacturing, there is a lot of water that is used there and these ones have been affected without necessarily giving names," said Mr Nyoni.

"We are surprised that after 125 years the city council has not improved its infrastructure to the fact that when they work in one dam the other dam is able to supply the city or at least to be able to build big reservoirs so that if they cut off supply the city council can disburse from the reservoirs."

He said ABUZ would be meeting city council officials today to discuss the water problem and measures to be taken to swiftly address the challenge. Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) Matabeleland region president, Mr Shepherd Chawira, also concurred saying the industry was affected.

He, however, said the city council has assured them that businesses will not be affected. Mr Chawira also said his association has been invited for stakeholders meeting today to discuss the way forward.

In its last update council had said that water supplies for the whole city will be closed until the system stabilised at Criterion water works where refurbishments are being done.

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