Bulawayo City Wants Govt To Declare Its Water Crisis A National Disaster

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

THE Bulawayo City Council has requested government to declare the water woes in the region a national disaster.

The city is on Monday set to further tighten its weekly water rationing schedule, something which will affect the second capital’s fight against coronavirus.

The move will see most residential areas going for five continuous days without running water as the city takes drastic measures to conserve the remaining water on the city’s dams.

Bulawayo has so far recorded 11 cases of COVID-19. According to a notice, the new water-shedding regime will start on Monday, 27 April 2020.

“The City of Bulawayo would like to advise residents that the city will be introducing the 120-hour water-shedding programme with effect from Monday 27, 2020,” the council said in the notice.

“However, in a bid to manage water supply from the low water reservoirs, council would like to advise that there will be an emergency intermittent supply of water across the city, except for industry and CBD until Sunday 26 April 2020 in a bid to balance the system.”

The local authority said the city was experiencing an upsurge in the consumption of the precious liquid during the current lockdown period.

“This is due to the very high water consumption experienced citywide from Tuesday 21 April 2020 to Wednesday 22 April 2020, averaging 150 ml per day against the system input of 90 ml per day. The system will, therefore, with immediate effect be closed to allow for the recovery of criterion reservoirs,” further reads the statement.

The city is experiencing an acute shortage of water because of the severe drought which has reduced water supplies in its dams, forcing authorities to decommission two major supply dams.

Some of the local councillors are also advocating a return to the old traditional rain-making rituals as the city battles with persistent water shortages.