Zimbabwe News

Bulawayo’s 120-hour water shedding may be raised to 140 hours

The City of Bulawayo says residents will continue receiving water for only two days per week, as water levels continue to dwindle at major supply dams due to drought.

The current 120-hour weekly water-shedding period might be increased to 140 hours.

This was said by Bulawayo director of engineering services, Sikhumbuzo Ncube, on Tuesday, 12 March during a tour of some of the city’s water projects by Netherlands Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Her Excellency Margret Verwijk.

Verwijk visited several projects including the city’s Revenue Hall and four water kiosks that were installed around the city to improve access to water.

The four water kiosks are located in Magwegwe (two), Cowdray Park, and Nkulumane.

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city is experiencing a 120-hour water-shedding period as it seeks to conserve water. Said Ncube (via Chronicle):

We all appreciate that the water situation remains critical. Our water levels in the city dams are at 41 percent yet we are approaching the end of the rainy season.

This means we are going to sustain the 120-hour weekly water shedding period for a prolonged period maybe up to December.

By June we might even need to review the water shedding programme depending on the water situation in our dams. We might need to increase to a 140 hour-weekly water shedding period.

At the moment we will try to maintain the 120 weekly water shedding, meaning residents will continue to receive water twice a week.

Verwijk said that The Netherlands has a lot of expertise in water resource management and it was encouraging to see communities being involved in protecting water infrastructure in Bulawayo.

Communities are in charge of the water kiosks and bear the costs of repairing any infrastructure that is damaged. Said the diplomat:

I come from a country, which is very small. It fits into Mashonaland West, it is very tiny but water and water management is something that we have mastered very well.

Some of the land we gained from the sea, we didn’t occupy anyone’s land, we took it from the sea.

Water management and protecting ourselves from the sea and utilising all the rivers in the Netherlands for the purposes of production agriculture, household water consumption is something that we are specialised in.

So, it is very nice to see that Dutch water utilities and water operations are supporting your community in accessing potable and clean water. It is important, water is life.

Verwijk said her country has been supporting water management in Bulawayo, Mutare, and Harare, with the aim of providing safe drinking water to communities.

She urged residents to pay their bills saying “Water is not for free, clean potable water is very valuable and it was good to see that people start to understand that, so that the revenues are actually realised.”

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