Bulawayo City Council has extended water-shedding hours from 48 to 72 hours due to depletion of water at the local government’s water sources, power cuts and increased consumption.
Bulawayo Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni, told reporters during an emergency water situation press conference at Council Chambers that the periodic emergency shedding seeks to stabilise water supply. He said:
Council has made the decision to introduce a 72-hour water-shedding programme per week due to a number of challenges which have been experienced over the past weeks. The city’s water demand over the last three weeks has increased from an average of 135 megalitres per day to 150 megalitres per day in comparison to the raw water production figures of 110 megalitres per day, resulting in a deficit of 45 -60 megalitres per day.
Bulawayo started water rationing in February to save water. The situation in Bulawayo is not unique considering that almost every large city, including the capital, Harare, are struggling to constantly provide potable water to residents.
Some local government authorities are contemplating introducing prepaid water meters as a revenue mobilisation strategy. The strategy has for a long time now been opposed by residents who argue that water, as per section 77 of the Constitution is a fundamental human right which has to be enjoyed by everyone, poor or rich.
More: The Chronicle