By Bulawayo Correspondent
EXPERTS hired by government to assess the water situation in Bulawayo have declared the city water secure.
The country’s second largest city’s perennial water woes persist with authorities recently forced to decommission three of its major water supply dams.
The dams are Umzingwane, Upper Ncema and Lower Ncema.
The other remaining three dams are Insiza Mayfair, Inyankuni and Mtshabezi.
Because of the water challenges, the city recently escalated its weekly water shedding hours from 108 to 120 in a move which has seen households sometimes go for five days without running water.
Bulawayo is keen to preserve the remaining water in city dams.
Earlier this month, the local authority wrote to the Ministry of Lands, Water and Rural Resettlement requesting the city to be declared a water shortage area.
The government, through Local Government ministry, responded by hiring two Engineering consultants, Zanu PF Midlands Provincial Chairperson Daniel Mackenzie Ncube and Paul Kruger to make their own second opinions on the water crisis.
Presenting their findings at a Friday water crisis meeting attended by Local Government Minister July Moyo in the city, Kruger said according to his assessment, Bulawayo has got enough water from the remaining three dams.
He said the major challenge was on how to harness the water.
Kruger said technical and engineering works have to done at Insiza dam so that water flows well and has volume to fit the pipes.
He said little technical work was needed at Inyankuni dam so as to increase the water supplies.
Ncube, who is also former Zanu PF Zhombe legislator, concurred while also blaming the local authority for duplicating Mtshabezi pipeline.
The Zanu PF official also said he was against the local authority’s plans to treat sewerage water from Khami Dam.
After the consultants’ presentations, Moyo immediately declared Bulawayo a water safe area and said only technical work need to be addressed.
“There is consensus that technical work has to be done as Bulawayo has not run out of water yet the city council requires water.
“The catchment areas have not run out of water, whether the aquifer or dams in Matabeleland South and supply Bulawayo. That is clear to all of us but what now remains is the technical side,” said the Minister.
Bulawayo City Council Director Engineering Services Simela Dube had earlier told the meeting that the city‘s perennial water problems could only be solved by implementing long term water projects.
Councillors who spoke to NewZimbabwe.com also disputed the consultant’s findings.
“What is clear is that Bulawayo has run out of water.
“We are not happy about the findings of these consultants. It was just jobs for the homeboys.
“We all know Ncube is a Zanu PF activist. Was there any tendering for the consultant work? If so where are the documents?” said one councillor who preferred anonymity.