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Byo water woes worsen

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The Bulawayo water crisis has deepened as some residents yesterday said they were going for five days without the resource instead of the stipulated three-day water-shedding regime.

Report by Sheryleen Masuku Own correspondent

A survey  by NewsDay yesterday showed that Njube and Old Magwegwe were the most affected high-density suburbs.

In Njube, some residents said that they were going for the second week without water.

“We hear that parts of Njube sometimes get water at night, but in our area we sometimes go for a week without water and, as we speak, we have entered the second week with no water,” Athalia Dumani said.

Njube councillor Thembeni Ncube said she had requested for bowsers to bring water to the residents.

“I do not really know why some areas do not get water, maybe the engineering  department might know. My duty is to listen to the grievances of the people and act on them,” she said.

Old Magwegwe residents, who were collecting water from a burst pipe, also said they were facing hardships of going for five days a week without water.

“We are situated in an uphill area and we do not get any water even after the water-shedding period has lapsed,” said one of the affected residents, Dumolenkosi Masuku.

Another Old Magwegwe resident said they had been experiencing the problem since August 31.

The residents disclosed that water-shedding had brought untold suffering to their homes.

“We are suffering. As you can see, we are all waiting to get water from this spot,” said a woman pointing to a burst pipe. “We have been here since morning. At times we go to other residents’ houses in Lobengula Extension to ask for water. But we also experience problems in that because people also fear that they will get huge water bills and are refusing to assist us.”

Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo yesterday said he was not aware of the problem and referred NewsDay to the engineering department.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association co-ordinator Rodrick Fayayo said: “The council should provide water for these residents or else we are likely to have water-related diseases.”

Bulawayo City Council introduced 48 hours water-shedding in July. At the end of August, the local authority escalated this to 72 hours per week as water levels continued to deteriorate at the city’s supply dams.

The city has five supply dams, but Upper Ncema and Umzingwane dams have already been decommissioned.

Lower Ncema, Inyankuni and Insiza dams, which are 41 % full, are the remaining ones supplying the city with water.

Council recently warned residents that it might increase water-shedding to 96 hours per week if the water levels continued to fall.

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