Bulawayo council profiles water availability in schools to avoid waterborne diseases

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

BULAWAYO municipality has profiled all schools in the city with a view to ascertain their water needs as schools are set to open next week Monday.

This comes amid fears of waterborne diseases outbreaks as the city is facing severe water challenges.

In response to questions from, the city’s Corporate Communications Manager, Nesisa Mpofu, revealed that most schools in the city were secure despite the challenges.

“All schools in the city were profiled to ascertain their needs and most schools had boreholes and water storage tanks. Council, through its water division in the engineering department, supplies water through bowsers where possible.

“When water is available, the schools should fill their tanks so that the water lasts for a while. We urge everyone from learners, teachers and parents to work and cooperate with council at this challenging time and hopefully the skies will open up and ease the pressure.

“We know water is essential for sanitation and washing of hands as per World Health Organisation (WHO) requirements. The tanks allow schools to collect water for use during periods of water shedding and provide water supply for school children,” said Mpofu.

She attributed the city’s fresh challenges to some irregularities in power supply at Nyamandlovu, Ncema and Fernhill pumping stations.

This, she said, continues to limit water delivery to the city.

“We are unable to prepare effectively, making compliance with the 72-hour shedding schedule impossible. Furthermore, dams have gained barely 1% since the start of the rains, while UMzingwane and Upper Ncema Dams remain decommissioned,” said Mpofu.

Last year, the city was hit by a diarrhoea outbreak, with 157 cases reported in Tshabalala High Density while the previous year, 13 residents in the city died from the water borne disease.