Bulawayo council bans construction

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The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has banned construction in the city due to a critical shortage of water in the city.
Bulawayo has had perennial water problems for years with no permanent solution in sight.
The city’s dams are only 51 % full, which leaves the city with a major water supply shortfall.
According to a council report, a lot of water was being consumed in new suburbs where construction was taking place.
City fathers expressed concern over the issue and said the local authority should monitor such developments.
“There is a lot of water which is being consumed in suburbs where construction is currently taking place and there is need for municipal departments to monitor this,” said Councillor Clyton Zana of Ward 19.
Chairman for the Committee on Future Water Supplies and Water Action, Councillor Norman Hlabani said anyone carrying out construction projects should obtain a permit from the local authority.
“Anyone who wishes to carry out any construction project should inform their ward councillor and obtain a permit.
It would also be prudent to utilise meter readers to record details of all properties where brick moulding is taking place,” he said.
However, Councillor Martin Moyo of Ward 3 said granting permits was a tedious process because it was sometimes difficult to determine the source of the water used.
“Eastview School was being constructed and the water used was obtained from Umguza River, so sometimes it becomes difficult to determine where people are getting the waterfrom,” he said.
In the past, BCC used meters and restriction disks to monitor water usage.
However, most water meters need to be replaced, while some residential suburbs do not have meters at all.
Councillor John Ferguson added that a lot of unmetered water was being consumed and it was important to insert restriction disks.
The Acting Director of Engineering Services, Job Ndebele, said restriction disks would be inserted for high water consumption and that council would approach donors to assist with providing meters for the local authority.
“Meters are council property and it is council’s obligation to provide these gadgets. However, due to financial challenges, we will allow consumers to purchase personal water meters and the council will install them.
“We will also approach donors for assistance,” he said.