Bulawayo suburbs run dry

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TEN suburbs in Bulawayo are likely to face prolonged water cuts this week, as the local authority embarks on maintenance works at Criterion Clear Water Supply Reservoir.

Report by Nqobile Bhebhe

The planned maintenance is scheduled for today. In a notice, the local authority senior public relations officer, Nesisa Mpofu appealed to residents to conserve water so as to minimise the impact.

“The public is advised that Bulawayo City Council will be carrying out valve replacement at the Criterion Clear Water Supply Reservoir on Monday, June 24 between 8am and 3pm,” she said. “This is likely to affect reservoir levels at Magwegwe Distribution Reservoir resulting in possible delays on the water returning to suburbs on Wednesday from Magwegwe Reservoir.”

The areas likely to be affected are Luveve, Gwabalanda, Emakhandeni, Pumula, Cowdray Park, Entumbane, Lobengula, Pelandaba, Mpopoma and Njube. Last week the local authority said water levels at the remaining supply dams continue to dwindle and were at critical levels, with an average of 47,05% capacity.

Inyankuni Dam, which faces decommissioning this month is only 5,4% full, while Mtshabezi Dam had 98,9%. Bulawayo could be facing a prolonged critical water crisis this year, as already one dam has been decommissioned while another one is expected to be cut off at the end of this month. The city has been implementing a stringent water rationing regime, as the supply dams water volumes dwindle. Initially water rationing was 48 hours per week, but was later increased to 72 hours per week. Bulawayo’s average daily water consumption is about 100 000 cubic metres.