Bulawayo has so far received insignificant rains which have done very little to improve the city’s water supply situation, mayor Thaba Moyo has said.
In his 2011 message to the city, the mayor said Bulawayo’s dams received “insignificant inflows” and the city was still deep in crisis.
“This has created an unsustainable situation that poses a threat to the existing population and industry. As the year drew to a close, the water supply situation remained critical, with current water supply at a total of 40, 69%,” he said.
In November last year, council announced the city’s four major supply dams, Insiza, Inyankuni, Lower Ncema and Umzingwane had a combined total capacity of 38% compared to 52% during the same period in 2009.
Moyo said the city needed more supply dams.
“The major challenge for our city is that the water supply dams have proved inadequate and unable to cater for the needs of the population in terms of capacity. This has been further exacerbated by the old infrastructure which is prone to leaks and breakdowns,” he said.
“In the coming year, we hope to continue with the rehabilitation of the water reticulation network in the city”.
One project that has been identified as a possible solution to the city’s perennial water woes is the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline.
“The city applauds the contribution and partnership that has been demonstrated by the government in the construction of the Mtshabezi Umzingwane pipeline. We remain optimistic that this project will be completed early this year,” he said.
“Also adversely affecting the city’s water supply and distribution network is the need to replace 10 000 meters for which tenders have already been flighted. It is hoped that this will help improve the accuracy of monthly service charge bills and save money for the residents.”
Moyo said council had secured a loan last year for the refurbishment of water and sewerage systems.
“Successes have been recorded in a number of areas.
Last year, council managed to secure a loan from the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe for the refurbishment of water and sewage systems, repair of long-standing leaks at Criterion as well as rectification of the problem of low pressure in high-lying areas at Magwegwe Tower,” he said.