HomeLocal NewsCity basks in ‘Big Flush’

City basks in ‘Big Flush’


Despite Bulawayo becoming the butt of nasty jokes following a council directive that residents flush toilets simultaneously, for the first time, the city’s water situation might receive the international attention it deserves.

Report by Nqaba Matshazi , Senior Reporter
Now referred to as “The Big Flush”, Bulawayo residents have been asked to flush their toilets simultaneously at 7.30pm after 72-hour water cuts so as to prevent clogging, which damages the city’s sewer infrastructure.
“Some find it funny,” Bulawayo’s mayor Thaba Moyo said yesterday, “but it has created more awareness of the water situation in Bulawayo.”
The Big Flush has been a major news topic in the world media, with most major networks carrying it and Moyo hopes that this is the springboard to launch appeals to have the water situation addressed.
“I have looked on the Internet and on the news channels and this was a popular topic, let’s hope it can spread information and raise awareness,” he said.
Major news networks like the BBC, Fox News and AP have latched onto the story turning it into an international phenomenon.
Efforts to get stakeholders mapping a strategy to solve the water crisis have mostly been stillborn, with a water conference, which was held in Bulawayo a few years ago, being an overwhelming flop.
Observers say the city’s water problems can only be solved by the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, which has been a century in the planning, but this is a long-term solution and immediate remedies were needed.
Moyo believes the government should also do its part by declaring the water situation a national disaster, as this would help in directing resources to the city to prevent a major health catastrophe.
“The situation should be declared a state of disaster so that resources are moved to address the situation with the urgency it deserves,” he said.
But Water minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo does not seem to share this view as he believes that the situation does not qualify the city to be declared a critical water shortage area.
Sipepa Nkomo recently announced that Bulawayo had found investors to fund a project that was set to increase the pumping of water from Nyamandlovu Aquifer from 5 000 to about 30 000 cubic metres daily.


So far this has come to nought, with Moyo saying the city was desperate to get all the boreholes at Nyamandlovu working, but with little resources.

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