BULAWAYO City Council yesterday said it had managed to restore water supplies to most of the suburbs and expects the situation to return to normal tomorrow following disruptions that began last week.
Council’s senior public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu said 50% of the reservoirs’ cleaning had been done and a private contractor was engaged to expedite the cleaning of blocked scour valves at Criterion water reservoir.
“The city’s water supply situation has improved and we have managed to stabilise the levels of the reservoirs,” she said.
“Most of the city suburbs now have normal water supplies except for Nketa, Nkulumane, Emganwini and high areas of Entumbane, Emakhandeni and Cowdray Park which are still having intermittent supply.
“In addition, all suburbs surrounding Magwegwe reservoir — Njube, Magwegwe, Lobengula are still experiencing low pressure due to the current reservoir level which is still critical.
“We expect the situation to improve by Wednesday 3rd September 2014.”
Council had last week introduced water shedding in most of the high-density suburbs after water levels at its reservoirs dropped drastically. However, the Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (Bpra) yesterday criticised the temporary water shedding saying it was done without prior warning to residents.
The local authority said the cleaning of Criterion which is expected to end on Friday. Bpra official Zibusizo Dube said the water supply disruption may lead to outbreaks of water borne diseases.
“People are saying the city council was insensitive to implement temporary water shedding without informing residents and giving them time to store water,” he said. “They have questioned why only western areas are being affected by the water shedding.”
Dube said women and girls were the most affected by the unscheduled water cuts.
“There is always the health dimension to water cuts. There are fears that the water disruption may lead to outbreaks of water borne diseases,” he said.
“Sanitation has been greatly affected by the immediate cuts with residents now using the bush as a toilet. As usual, women and girls are the most affected as they are the ones tasked with seeking alternative sources of water.
“Women also have different sanitary needs compared to men, which makes such water shortages more of a burden for them,” added Dube.
Njube residents said they had still not accessed water from the bowsers promised by the council.
Council had said it would provide bowsers to affected areas.
Earlier this year, the council suspended water shedding following significant inflows into the city’s supply dams after heavy rains that lashed the southern region of the country, but warned residents to use the resource sparingly.