BCC fails to explain prolonged water shortages



BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has failed to explain the prolonged water shortages in the city, ruling out the possibility of normalisation of water supplies soon.

The council has failed to meet the March deadline to end water-shedding, with some areas going for two weeks without running water.

Council unveiled a 72-hour water-shedding regime, down from the 144 hours implemented in 2020 after the city’s supply dams received significant inflows this year.

However, water shortages persist as the council has been failing to stick to its timetable.

Matabeleland Institute for Human Rights executive director Khumbulani Maphosa told Southern Eye that most suburbs were still experiencing water shortages.

“BCC assured us that by the end of March 2021, water-shedding would be over.

“Most suburbs are still facing water-shedding until today. Why are they still talking of 72-hour water-shedding when March has passed?” Maphosa asked.

Deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube said water shortages were caused by power outages, and pipe bursts, among others.

“It is difficult to say we can completely lift it because there are many factors that have to be considered.

“So as it is, we need to be very careful as far as preserving the little and precious resources that we have in our supply dams now.

“In terms of power cuts, the only solution that Zesa can do for us is to give us a dedicated line to our pump stations that will not be affected by load-shedding.

“They must also try to have powerlines that don’t have cables that are susceptible to theft. In short, those are the factors that should be considered for us to say we are lifting the water shedding,” Ncube said.

Zesa has on the other hand denied that it is implementing load-shedding and blames outages on damage to its infrastructure by incessant rains, as well as copper vandals.