BY NIZBERT MOYO
BULAWAYO mayor Solomon Mguni yesterday revealed that water levels at the city’s main supply dams had dropped significantly, but assured residents that the city authorities would continue to look for alternative sources.
Presenting his belated New Year’s message, Mguni said the city dams levels were now at 35,4%.
“Our total percentage as at Wednesday, January 8 is 35,4%. We would like to advise residents that we intend on maintaining the current water-shedding schedule (of 96 hours) and not worsen it should we fail to get adequate inflows in the city’s dams in 2020,’’ he said.
“Council continues to explore other innovative systems to ensure that we attend to the water supply challenges. We anticipate the completion of the Epping Forest project this year, which is expected to bring in at least 10 megalitres of water.”
Late last year, the council introduced a 96-hour water-shedding schedule as the water situation worsened in the city.
Mguni added that this year, they were looking forward to the finalisation of the Bulawayo water and sewerage services improvement projects, which he said would see the upgrading and renewal of water pipes in the city’s wards as well as replacement of 18 000 non-functional water meters in the Magwegwe and Criterion Reservoir zones.
He said they were also anticipating the reduction of sewer faults through the rehabilitation of the southern areas sewer treatment plant as well as the attendance to hotspots and rehabilitation of sewer outfalls.
The city father urged residents to desist from vandalising the sewer and water infrastructure.
“In our bid to provide quality services, we will be installing new eletromechanical equipment at Ncema and Fernhill pump stations, which will see an installation of new pumps for the raw water supply line at both stations being done,” he said.
“The new pumps will ensure reliability in the water supply system, improve efficiency and will utilise the Scada (supervisory control and data acquisition) technology that allows for remote management of the systems.”
Scada is a computer system for gathering and analysing real time data.
The system is used to monitor and control a plant or equipment in industries such as telecommunications, water and waste control, energy, oil and gas refining and transportation.
Mguni said they would also protect the equipment by installing new circuit breakers that will safeguard the equipment against power surges.
Turning to the long overdue Egodini mall project, the mayor said phase one of the project was now anticipated to be completed most likely by the second quarter of the year, based on the macro-economic environment.
“One of the projects affected was the Basch Sreet terminus (Egodini mall) and phase 1 of the project is now anticipated to be completed either at the end of quarter one of 2020 or beginning of quarter two of 2020,” he said.
Mguni said the prevailing inflationary environment and increase in interest rates further affected the completion of the transportation hub.
“Despite the highlighted challenges, there was progress in the project, with 90% direct employment opportunities to local residents,’’ he said.