Water policy for Byo

THE Bulawayo City Council has formulated a water policy document to give direction on management of water usage in the city that has been blighted by perennial water shortages.

Chief Reporter

According to a 2013 Council Budget Performance Review document being presented at the 2014 budget consultations, the local authority indicates that a water policy is key for planning.

The 2014 budget is expected to focus on the city’s water woes.

Council introduced water-shedding in a bid to manage dwindling water supplies.

“Drafting of a water policy document has been completed in compliance with the national water policy and is currently awaiting submission to council.

“The document has mapped the way forward on how water should be managed,” the report reads.

Newly-elected councillors are due to hold their first full council meeting in the first week of November.

Bulawayo has been facing recurrent water shortages for more than two decades as the five supply dams built before independence can no longer satisfy the city’s growing population.

The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project, mooted as far back as 1912, has been touted as the permanent solution to the city’s water problems that have forced many companies to either shut down or relocate to Harare and elsewhere.

The document says the local authority is still sourcing funds for the Insiza pipeline duplication.

Council is still sourcing funds. Meanwhile, detailed designs are in progress and several funders have been approached.

However, the proposed hydro-geological study for the aquifer extension throughout the city is yet to be conducted.

The national water policy, launched last year, among other things, proposes the introduction of private water providers to ensure that safe drinking water is provided to all communities.

The lack of a policy has resulted in poor and erratic water delivery that has affected the health of people and business operations.

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