RESIDENTS of Bulawayo’s high-density suburbs of Emganwini and Nketa have gone for four days without water and say they now fear disease outbreaks.
Bulawayo City Council has blamed the water cuts on a burst pipe and promised the problem would be fixed by end of day yesterday.
Residents told Southern Eye that they thought it was just part of a water-shedding programme when their taps went dry on Monday.
Maria Gumede, a resident, said the council had not provided an explanation about the water cuts.
“Schools are closed and our children are exposed to serious diseases. We demand a solution immediately,” he said.
Some residents have been using water from unprotected wells and boreholes to flush their toilets, but the queues keep on stretching to a point that some have now resorted to using the bush to relieve themselves. Eric Ngoda expressed anger saying residents were now relieving themselves next to his house which is close to the bush.
“Our families are living under threat of a cholera outbreak. We demand government intervention as soon as possible,” he said.
Margret Dube said the water crisis was particularly punishing for the elderly who cannot walk and queue at the few boreholes.
“I am not feeling well. I have a serious backache because yesterday I went as far as Nketa 9 in search of water pushing a wheelbarrow,” she said.
Council’s senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu said the local authority was only informed on Tuesday that there had been a burst water pipe in the suburb.
“We are aware of the situation and we are taking action to attend to the matter as soon as we can,” she said.
“We got the report that there was a burst pipe on Tuesday and immediately sent our plumbers to go and fix it. We are hoping that before the end of tomorrow (yesterday) the situation would have been sorted out.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused and promise that by the end of tomorrow (yesterday) the situation would be back to normal,” Mpofu said.
The local authority suspended water-shedding at the end of the last rainy seasons after significant inflows into city supply dams.