Bulawayo residents wants efficient water shedding schedule

Bulawayo residents have called on the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to run a more efficient water shedding schedule as the programme has so far been inconsistently implemented. The BCC has put in place water shedding as a means of reducing the water consumption rates in the city after poor seasonal rainfall and the decommissioning of Upper Ncema Dam one of the city’s five major supply dams. The schedule was such that residents would go for 48hours per week without water supplies.

However some residents have complained that the water does not come back at scheduled times and in other areas the water does not go at all. For some residents when the water comes they have to throw out gallons and gallons of it before clear water starts to run and this results in very high water bills. Residents also noted that a lot of the pressure that comes with resumption of water flow was causing their meters to run even when there would have been no water flowing at that point.

City council officials have also acknowledged that the first schedule of water shedding has not yielded much positive results due to the city’s old pipe system which has led to a lot of pipe bursts and a lot of clean water being lost in the process. They also stated that the pipe bursts and rust is what is causing water to be contaminated when it starts flowing again. Furthermore the officials said they had noted that residents were still using more water than had been hoped possible during water shedding.

The council says it is even considering increasing the number of load shedding days to reducing the consumption rate from 110Megaliters (ML) to 90ML per day. Council has urged residents to keep their taps closed until there is water flowing to avoid their meters running without any water flow. They also encouraged residents to keep record of their meter readings so they could use these to query any over charges on their bills.

Given the dire water situation residents are facing as well as the tough task the city fathers have in ensuring that residents save as much water as possible, BPRA shall be sending regular Water Crisis Alerts to keep residents abreast with the water situation in the city until it has improved. The updates will also include information from the all stakeholders meetings being held in the city to deal with the water crisis.

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