Bulawayo City Council has set up a stakeholders’ crisis committee to devise ways of addressing the city’s deepening water crisis.
On Monday, council wrote to its major stakeholders inviting them to provide volunteers wishing to be part of the committee.
“The terms of reference for the committee shall entail monitoring the water crisis, recommending possible solutions, contribution of material, finance and expertise towards the management of the crisis,” reads part of the letter.
According to the council, the committee would hold its first meeting today at City Hall at 2:30pm.
Yesterday, council director of engineering services Simela Dube was said to be attending a day-long meeting and the mayor Thaba Moyo was not available for comment.
The local authority has introduced water-shedding, which would see most suburbs going without water for two days weekly to conserve the city’s dwindling water supplies.
Businesses and residents in the central business district will, however, not be affected by the proposed water-shedding schedule. According to council, water would be cut off for 24 hours twice weekly with council adding: “Although all attempts will be made to stick to the schedule, it is subject to change, in cases of emergency, without notice.”
Council adopted water shedding following the decommissioning of Upper Ncema Dam, leaving the city with four supply dams, Insiza, Inyankuni, Lower Ncema and Umzingwane, supplying the city.
However, Umzingwane is expected to be decommissioned by the end of this week. The water crisis is set to deepen following reports that a local company United Associates (Pvt) Ltd had approached the courts seeking an order to compel the State Porcurement Board to reverse the awarding of a tender for the electrification of the Mtshabezi–Umzingwane pipeline project.
The tender had been awarded to AC Controls (Pvt) Ltd. Council had pinned its hope on the quick completion of the Mtshabezi-Umzingwane pipeline, which had been touted as a short-term solution to the city’s water woes.