Magwegwe Residents Disappointed by BCC

OLD Magwegwe (Ward 18) residents are facing serious challenges with the new water shedding schedule amid revelations that they have spent a week without water. The residents allege that they last had water on Monday last week (10 September 2012) from 0100 hrs to 0400 hrs. Residents from Magwegwe and Lobengula West now spend a good portion of the day waiting for Bulawayo City Council (BCC) bowsers to supply them with water.

According to the residents, the bowsers come as late as 11pm which has resulted in many residents failing to get water as they would have given up on waiting for the precious liquid and fear being mugged. Magwegwe has three functioning boreholes but they cannot sustain all the residents because of large population densities in the area.

Magwegwe residents thus have to walk long distances looking for alternative sources of water, sometimes collecting water as far afield as Pelandaba and Lobengula Extension which increases the water penalties on compassionate Pelandaba and Lobengula Extension residents who help their counterparts with water. The residents told BPRA that they do not have any problems with spending 72 hours a week without water because they understand that the city as a whole is going through a difficult water crisis. They called on BCC to share the little water that is available equality among all residents and adhere to its water shedding timetable.

….as Sewage pipe bursts increase in City suburbs

Residents of Pumula North and Lobengula West have expressed fears of outbreaks of diseases after experiencing an increase in the frequency of sewerage pipe bursts in their areas. They said raw sewage was flowing in the streets and in some households in their areas raising concerns that children who enjoy playing in the dirt were at risk of contracting water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera.

The condition in the suburbs is dire as children play near the sewage streams, while fliers hover around and a bad smell permeates the atmosphere. The rise in reports on sewerage bursts in Lobengula West and Pumula North comes only a few days after the Deputy Mayor of Bulawayo, Councillor Amen Mpofu was quoted in the media conceding that the water shedding was responsible for increases in water and sewage pipe bursts.

In addition to sewage pipe bursts caused by water shedding, residents have also complained that surrounding bushy areas in their suburbs were being polluted as people are now using the bushes as their toilets due to the water crisis. The residents thus called upon the local authority to improve on its response to reports on sewage pipe bursts and timely provide alternative sources of water to residents to ensure that no disease outbreaks occur in the city.

Water Situation Update – 17 September 2012

Note: Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) is disseminating regular information on the water crisis in Bulawayo as a means to provide a voice for residents, who are the ones affected by the crisis, and as a way of pressuring the powers that be to do something about the situation.

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