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Bulawayo needs US$200m for water – Mayor


Bulawayo (New Ziana) – Bulawayo residents are bracing for extended water shedding owing to low water levels in all the city`s supply dam.

The city relies on six supply dams – Insiza, Inyankuni, Lower Ncema, Upper Ncema, Umzingwane, and Mtshabezi – which are all located in Matabeleland South province.

Bulawayo is grappling with water shortages due to persistent droughts experienced in the region in recent years.
The city council recently introduced a tight 72-hour water shedding programme to save water.

In an interview, Bulawayo mayor, David Coltart said the council will need US$200 million to address the water situation in the short to medium term.

“If we don’t have good rains this season, the city will face a crisis. We have other pressing issues that we need to (be) addressed such as the duplication of the pipeline from Insiza, duplication of line from Mtshabezi, the rehabilitation of Ncema treatment plant, duplication of Tuli reservoir and critically construction of Glass block dam,” said Coltart.

He said the construction of Glass block dam in Filabusi will add 70 percent more water to the city, adding that the project will take less than two and half years to complete.

“Even if we agreed today and we secure the financing for duplication of pipelines and construction of Glass block dam, that is going to take two and half years to complete,” said Coltart.

He said the city had since written to the Ministry of Local Government to declare the city a water shortage area, to allow it to mobilise resources to tackle the problem.

Coltart commended government for availing funding for the Nyamandlovu Aquifer project, saying this will add a further 15 mega litres to the city per day.

“Whilst Gwayi Shangani is (a) very important medium to long term project, it simply cannot provide our short to medium term water needs. This is the most important issue that we face as a city,” he said.

Deputy mayor and chairperson of the Future Water and Action Committee, Edwin Ndlovu, said the short to medium solutions that the city can use are buying more pumps and building another dam.

“The water situation in the city is very dire. We need to up our game and come up with immediate solutions. We propose to construct another dam to complement the existing ones. Our water levels are very low,” he said.

He also proposed the procurement of new pumps, saying their pumping capacity is below what the city requires.

“Secondly we need to buy new pumps. At Umzingwane, only one out of four pumps is working. We do have water but our pumping capacity is below what we require. The short term can be getting new pumps and the medium term can be the construction of a new dam.

“The pumping system needs to be improved as a matter of urgency and we also need to pray that we can get better rains so that the water level can improve,” said Ndlovu.

New Ziana


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