Byo residents worried over increased water shedding

Residents in Bulawayo have expressed concern over the increased water shedding hours in the city stating that a continuous 48 hours without water would be unsustainable for most households as they do not have sufficient containers to keep enough water to cover basics such as cooking, washing and bathing for the two days.

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) last week resolved to increase water shedding times from 48 hours to 72 hours a week as a means of further reducing the city’s water consumption patterns to the targeted 90 mega-litres per day or less. This means that residents will experience water cuts twice per week – once for 48 hours straight, and once for 24 hours.

The initial shedding was for 48 hours per week, however council engineers reported that consumption had not reduced because the water shedding had been coupled by an increased incidence of pipe bursts as the old pipes reacted to constant closing and opening of taps. This thus necessitated longer water shedding periods, hence the decision to increase from 48 hours to 72 hours a week.

However some residents have raised concerns of possible disease outbreak if the situation continues as it is. Already hundreds of residents are having to spend hours in borehole water queues to make up for a shortage in containers and to meet their daily water needs.

BPRA acknowledges that water shedding is necessary to conserve water at the moment as water levels in dams are critically low. The association however also proposes that BCC should make efforts to provide alternative sources of water such as bowsers. Efforts could also be made to repair damaged boreholes across the city. The association also calls for the local authority to increase public awareness to ensure that people reduce their water consumption patterns.

Residents Alert – Issue 81

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