Bulawayo blames faulty valves for UBH water woes



BULAWAYO City Council has said faulty valves were the major cause of United Bulawayo Hospitals’ water problems and urged the institution to repair them.

Council said it exempted hospitals from the punishing 36-hour water rationing regime introduced in the city last month following a sharp drop in water reserves, resulting in the UBH suspending surgical operations twice due to the water problems.

However, council spokesperson Nesisa Mpofu said they were not cutting water supplies to hospitals in the city, but that UBH had faulty water valves which needed to be repaired.

“UBH has faulty valves and pumps within their own station that deliver water to the elevated tank which, in turn, delivers water to the rest of the hospital, including the upper floors. The connection to UBH has been zoned off and, therefore, separated from the rest of the suburbs. Council has engaged UBH to repair the valves and pumps that feed the elevated tank so that they have the normal system working,” Mpofu said in an emailed response to Southern Eye.

“In this particular instance, where UBH didn’t have water, BCC assisted UBH in trying to rectify the issue. They are urged to have dedicated staff that understands the system to ensure that their challenges are attended to. We continue to prioritise water for hospitals and they remain our top priority because water is very important for their daily operations.”

UBH chief executive officer Nonhlanhla Ndlovu was unreachable for comment.

Bulawayo has been dogged by water problems for decades, with residents expressing concern over the slow progress in implementing the Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, which has been touted as the answer to the region’s water crisis.