Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) water crisis has worsened with the local authority revising weekly water shedding hours from 72 hours to 92 hours.
Last month the council increased weekly water shedding hours from 48 to 72.
In a statement yesterday, Bulawayo Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube said the new shedding schedule comes into effect on Monday.
He warned that high lying areas are likely to be affected beyond the scheduled times.
“The City of Bulawayo would like to advise members of public of the review of the current 72-hour weekly water shedding programme to 96 with effect from Monday 25 November 2019. The programme is being reviewed in a bid to stabilise the reservoirs and prevent them from depleting further. It is further being implemented in a bid to raise the raw water reservoir level to a comfortable buffer level of 5,5 metres. The current level of 0,76 metres (14 percent) is not safe for the city given the high demand being experienced,” he said.
Mr Dube said the water shedding programme is subject to change if the raw water reservoir level improves or deteriorates beyond the critical level.
“All the areas that are on high ground and are affected for more than 96 hours will be supplied with water by council bowsers,” he said.
Mr Dube said Zesa power cuts and increase in the water consumption levels have worsened the situation.
“The city continues to face the following challenges in connection with the water supply situation: (1) Intermittent power supply to Ncema Water Treatment plant and Fernhill pumping station, Umzingwane, Inyankuni dams and now Mtshabezi dam. (2) Interruption of water supply into Magwegwe reservoir from Nyamandlovu Aquifer due to power supply disruptions. (3) Limited raw water pumping due to old KSB pump which constantly breaks down,” he said.
Mr Dube said the city’s water consumption averages 155 megalitres per day against the capacity of 110 megalitres.
He said Umzingwane Dam, which is at 4,85 percent, will be decommissioned in the next few days.
The council recently reintroduced the big flush to encourage residents to simultaneously flush their toilets as a way of curbing sewer pipe bursts in the morning between 6am-6:30 am and in the evening between 8pm and 8:30pm.—@nqothsili.