By Bulawayo Correspondent
RESIDENTS from Bulawayo’s high-density suburb of Pumula South are reportedly sleeping in long winding queues waiting for council bowsers to deliver some water to them.
Bulawayo City Council a fortnight ago increased its weekly water-shedding hours from 108 to 120 forcing most households to go for five days continuous days without running water as the city takes drastic measures to conserve the remaining liquid in its dams.
According to the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association, (BPRA), some residents in the affected areas have now resorted to seeking water for drinking and other domestic chores from unprotected water sources.
“The water situation in Pumula South is very bad. Residents are sleeping in water queues waiting for the next deliveries. Women and children are the most affected by the crisis,” said Chrispen Ndlovu, BPRA Ward 27 chairperson.
Ndlovu said the most affected area is Section C, where some residents are digging shallow wells to access the precious liquid.
“Something has to be done urgently for Ward 27 residents. Council should try to drill and repair more broken boreholes in the area,” he said.
“Some residents have resorted to digging wells just to access water but the water is unsafe. People risk contracting water-borne diseases.”
Residents also complained that the hunt for water at night was exposing the lives of women and girls to sex predators.
However, the councillor for the area, Siboniso Khumalo denied residents were drinking water from unprotected water sources, but admitted they had resorted to the use of contaminated water for flushing their toilets.
“This has always been the norm. Residents here dug boreholes to water their gardens. Now they are using that water to flush toilets and wash their clothes,” said Khumalo.
The government last week released ZWL$10.6 million for the rehabilitation of boreholes at Nyamandlovu Aquifer in a move set to partially address the city’s water woes.