Water Resources Development and Management minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo says he is going to lobby Cabinet to release $20 million required for the Insiza Dam pipeline duplication project to ease Bulawayo’s water woes.
Nkomo made the remarks at the weekend after a tour of the city’s supply dams in the company of Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo and senior council officials.
Matabeleland South, where the council’s dams are located, is one of the provinces worst affected by water shortages in the country.
The dams are Upper and Lower Ncema, Insiza, Inyankuni and Umzingwane.
“We had to come to Bulawayo because of concerns raised following the poor rainfall patterns in the region,” said Nkomo.
“We decided that we have a first-hand appreciation of the situation before we report to Cabinet the situation in Bulawayo.”
He said Umzingwane Dam would supply the city with water for the next four months, while Upper Ncema would be opened to feed into Lower Ncema Dam for storage and pumping into Bulawayo.
“There is an urgent need for government and development partners and non-
governmental organisations to do something very fast.
“We have a lot of water in Insiza that is not used and we need to lay a pipe which is 900 millimetres in diameter to supplement the one presently pumping into Ncema Waterworks en route to Bulawayo,” the minister added.
Nkomo said he would also engage the United States, Australia, United Kingdom and the Netherlands to raise the $20 million for the project.
“It’s an emergency situation,” he said.
“We are not expecting any inflows anymore, but the pumping of water from Insiza will curb the water woes.”