Govt allocates $10,6m towards Nyamandlovu boreholes rehab

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A boy drinks water a t a borehole donated under the feeding programme in Zvishavane

GOVERNMENT has allocated $10,6 million to the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) towards the rehabilitation of the Nyamandlovu boreholes as the city’s supplies dwindle.

BY SILAS NKALA/ PATRICIA SIBANDA

BBC has implemented a 120-hour water shedding schedule to stretch the little supplies left in its dams standing at 31,73% as at April 15.

Bulawayo Metropolitan Provincial Affairs minister Judith Ncube revealed this yesterday at the handover of donations at Thorngrove Infectious Diseases Hospital.

“As you are aware, COVID-19 has called on all of us to exercise a high level of hygiene by frequent washing of hands using soap and running water. It is our responsibility to provide water at all times to ensure residents have the resources at their disposal. The city continues to be affected by water supply challenges. As at Tuesday, the city’s water supply dams are at 31,09%, with two dams still decommissioned and the Lower Ncema earmarked for decommissioning in May,” Ncube said.

“The province has been affected by perennial water shortages over the years coupled with growing city demand. I am, therefore, pleased to announce that the government has allocated the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) $10,6m for the rehabilitation of the Nyamandlovu boreholes.”

She said 15 boreholes would be rehabilitated.

“We note that this will increase the raw water being received in the city. We are advised that there is consideration for the completion of the Epping Forest project and other proposed initiatives. As I speak, five boreholes have already been sighted in Lobengula, Old Magwegwe, Magwegwe West, Pelandaba, Pumula South and Nkulumane,” Ncube said.

Speaking about the lockdown, the Bulawayo Metropolitan Provincial Affairs minister said residents were crowding at fresh produce markets in the central business district and retail outlets to buy vegetables and mealie-meal.

“This did not augur well with the guidelines of the lockdown order and definitely provided the hotbed for coronavirus to spread,” she said.

“Furthermore, the novel COVID-19 has necessitated that countries relook the way business is done. The province is, therefore, putting in place systems that will be compliant to the World Health Organisation protocols.”

Ncube said this has led to the closure of the 5th Street market and khothama second-hand clothes market trading at Tower Block and other vending areas in the city as they were being decentralised to the residential areas.

Speaking at the same function, Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni said the importance of risk communication was critical to foster behavioural change, hence the teams at the frontline continue to empower communities with information on the disease so that they reduce the rate of infection and subsequent deaths.

Ezra Tshisa Sibanda Initiative, Chicken Inn Football Club and Danish Church Aid donated various personal protective equipment to Thorngrove Isolation Centre, while Adelaide Shearly donated to Ekuphumuleni Old People’s Home.