Zimbabwe: Bulawayo Water Challenges Affecting City Fire Services

(File photo).
13 October 2020

Perennial water shortages being experienced in Bulawayo have affected the city's emergency fire services which depend on reliable water supply through fire hydrants.

The country's second capital is experiencing an acute shortage of water which has seen authorities forced to decommission three of the city's major water supply dams.

The city recently cut off water supplies to all industrial areas and the Central Business District (CBD) as its water situation reached alarming levels.

According to the latest council minutes, the water crisis has compromised emergency fire services in the city.

"Water shedding programme militated against the emergency fire-fighting capabilities as water had to be carried by bowser to where every fire would have broken out.

"The efficiency of the emergency services was highly dependent on a reliable water supply through fire hydrants.

"Water carried in Tenders/Bowsers only lasted a few minutes hence the unfortunate claims that appliances arrived at a fire without water," read the council report.

According to the minutes, the local authority in conjunction with a local radio station, has been conducting radio fire awareness campaigns which have attracted a cumulative audience of close to 700 listeners.

According to the report, the fire awareness campaigns have reduced fire incidences in the city from 624 in 2018 to 487 in 2019.

During the full council meeting, Ward 13 councillor Frank Javangwe noted that most tower lights in the city were not working.

Javangwe requested council management to attend to the problem.

"Mugging cases have increased in the city because of poor public lighting in the evening," Ward 11 councillor Pilate Moyo concurred.

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