Byo residents concerned over limited intervention in water problems

Bulawayo City Council (BCC)

RESIDENTS have expressed worry over lack of solutions to Bulawayo’s water crisis amid reports the city’s supply dams have recorded only 1% water inflows since the onset of the rains.


Council last week declared the water crisis an emergency to enable development partners to assist the local authority mobilise resources.

According to Town Clerk Christopher Dube, water levels at the city’s supply dams remain critical at a combined 35,39% despite the heavy rains experienced recently.

Umzingwane Dam and Upper Ncema are sitting at 4,48% and 10,85% capacity and remain decommissioned.

Council has said the 96 hours water-shedding regime will remain in place as a result.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) co-ordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu said it was saddening that the city struggled to come up with sustainable and long-term solutions for years.

“It is important to note that throughout its history, whether under a colonial administration or the current government, Bulawayo has struggled to supply its citizens with adequate water,” Ndlovu commented.

“While much of the shortage has to do with climate issues, it is, however, worsened by limited human intervention. Bulawayo has since time immemorial been supplied by five dams, built between 1958 and 1992.”

This is not the first time that the water crisis in the city has been declared an emergency but little has been done to ensure sustainable water provision for the city.

“As BPRA we have always submitted that Bulawayo needs other alternative substantial water supply options as a matter of urgency. The dams that are supplying Bulawayo were constructed long back before the population swell we are currently experiencing and they can no longer sustain the increasing demand for water,” Ndlovu added.

“Sadly Bulawayo City Council seems to be buying the market driven doctrine of privatising of water through prepaid meters. This will only compound the crisis. Central government needs to step in before it is too late.”