By Bulawayo Correspondent
WATER levels in City of Bulawayo’s three remaining dams have dropped significantly in the past weeks to only 28.42% this week amid fears that the town might this year witness one of its worst water shortages due to drought.
Last month, consultants hired by the government to assess the water situation in the city, declared there was enough water at the three dams to supply residents and business, an assessment that has since been dismissed by senior council officials.
However, addressing journalists in the city, Mayor Solomon Mguni said checks carried out Thursday at the city’s three dams showed they had combined water storage of only 28.42%.
The three dams are; Umzingwane, Upper Ncema, and Lower Ncema.
“The current city’s water situation is almost a recurrence of the 1992 situation where the city experienced a crippling drought that affected the city’s raw water storage supply,” Mguni said.
“Due to climate change, the city’s dams in the last three years have received low inflows, thus resulting in the depletion of storage to 28.42 % as of the 4th of June, 2020 with three dams decommissioned.”
He said while the city appreciates the government ‘s recent piecemeal intervention to the city’s water woes, the local council is of the view that medium to long term projects are the only panacea to the city ‘s perennial water challenges.
“While the immediate interventions from the Government are welcome, the city recommends that the medium-term projects be urgently pursued to improve the city’s raw water security in case of another poor rainfall season as it is unlikely that the ultimate solution to Bulawayo’s water challenges, the Gwayi/Shangani dam will be commissioned in the near future,” said Mguni.
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) has recently completed the $10, 6 million emergency borehole rehabilitation work at Nyamandlovu aquifer after the government last April released funds for the rehabilitation of 20 boreholes in response to the city’s water crisis.
“Council appreciates the importance of the Nyamandlovu Rochester rehabilitation that has increased daily water delivery and we anticipate work on the other agreed projects will commence as a matter of urgency,” added the mayor.