United Refineries shuts
Harare, (New Ziana) – Bulawayo based, United Refineries on Tuesday said it had temporarily halted operations due to water shortages in Zimbabwe’s second largest city.
The city’s perennial water shortages have worsened this year as depleting water levels in supply dams have resulted in the Bulawayo City Council imposing a weekly water shedding programme.
The situation has been compounded by persistent technical faults and pipe bursts, resulting in council failing to abide by its water shedding schedule.
The dire water situation has now seen United Refineries, one of Zimbabwe’s biggest manufacturers of cooking oil and soap, stopping production.
The company manufactures brands such as Roil cooking oil and Image bath soap.
“We regret to inform our customers, suppliers and stakeholders that we have had limited water supplies to our factory for the last seven days and the situation has not improved. As a result we have had to temporarily suspend our factory operations as we await the situation to normalise,” the company said in a statement.
“We continue to engage Bulawayo City Council with regard to returning the situation to normality.”
The company said the temporary closure would likely affect its festive season stocking programmes and promotions.
To remedy the water situation in Bulawayo, the government is implementing several long term and short term interventions including a borehole drilling programme which was recently funded to the tune of $205 million.
The long term solution, government says, remains the construction of the Gwayi-Shangani Dam which is currently underway.
The dam is expected to be completed by the end of next year.