WATER pumping capacity to Bulawayo from the Nyamandlovu aquifer has been reduced by close to 1 000 litres owing to the continued breakdown of boreholes.
REPORT BY NQOBANI NDLOVU
“Delivery from Nyamandlovu for the month (April) decreased to 2 602 cubic metres a day from the previous month of March where it averaged 2 677 cubic metres a day,” reads the latest council minutes.
“During March on average 26 out of 56 boreholes were operational. This was mainly due to breakdowns and pipe bursts.”
“The Bulawayo City Council says the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) had submitted a requisition for spares to repair some of the broken down boreholes,” the council report added.
The Nyamandlovu boreholes, if fully operational, can supply the city with 16 cubic litres of water a day, which translates to a tenth of demand, according to studies.
If more boreholes were drilled at Epping Forest also in Nyamandlovu, the two could supply the city with a fifth of its water demands.
However, a plan to drill boreholes at the Epping Forest hit a brickwall after the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) blocked it. EMA argues that drawing water from the Epping Forest, a nature forest which has high underground water tables, will disturb the ecosystem and lead to animal deaths in Nyamandlovu.
This comes at a time when Bulawayo is increasingly becoming desperate for water following the decommissioning of Ncema Dam last month and the expected cutting off of supplies from Inyankuni Dam next month.