DECOMMISSIONED Umzingwane and Lower Ncema dams are in a very dilapidated state amid concerns by Bulawayo city fathers that depleted water levels could worsen the city’s water situation.
BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
This comes at a time the remaining three water supply dams, Insiza Mayfair, Mtshabezi and Inyankuni are now at 21,5% capacity, which has resulted in them disbursing only 80 megalitres (ML) per day.
Council engineer Simela Dube revealed this on Friday during a media tour, where he told journalists that despite the dilapidation of the dams, rehabilitation works were underway at Ncema and Fernhill pump stations.
He said the major challenge faced by council was the low water levels, and not necessarily the pumping system.
Dube said the water pumps at the rehabilitated sites would be commissioned on November 25.
“Upon commissioning on November 25, we hope there will be water to pump because currently, our production of raw water is from three remaining dams that deliver only 80ML/day,” Dube said.
“Hopefully we will get water inflows so that we start utilising the full capacity of the pumps. I know people are still saying we have no pumping capacity, but I think the challenge here is raw water availability which is currently constraining us.
“People have been saying we want to desilt the dam, if someone comes and digs further, he will be increasing dead water (water which cannot be pumped out of the dam). I think that was the reason why we thought we should come here and illustrate the issues of siltation — that our capacity at the dams has been reduced by silt and they actually need scooping.”
He said the council was currently working on replacement of pumps, adding that COVID-19 stalled some of the projects which were supposed to be operational by November 25.