Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has extended water-shedding to 144 hours as levels of water in the local government authority’s sources of water have dwindled to unprecedented levels.
The local authority recently decommissioned Lower Ncema Dam after the water level reached an all-time low of 6,49%, bringing the number of decommissioned dams to three.
BCC’s Town Clerk, Christopher Dube announced the water-shedding in a statement that read in part:
Since the decommissioning of the Upper Ncema and Umzingwane dams, the city has been unable to meet its daily demand which averages 155 megalitres (ML) per day.
The maximum available raw water supply is currently at 94 ML per day. As a result of the gap between demand and supply of 59ML per day, the city has been on water-shedding since February 2019.
Water is a perennial challenge for most local authorities in Zimbabwe but has been more pronounced for Harare and Bulawayo.
Meanwhile, the African Development Bank (AfDB), which is financing the Bulawayo Water and Sanitation Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) estimated at US$33 million says that all the works should be delivered before the end of 2020.
The project is expected to rehabilitate and upgrade water production and treatment facilities, water supply and sewerage networks.