Bulawayo Residents Face Severe Water Rationing

Last week BCC announced shock water rationing measures which will see water supplies cut to some residents for 24 hours, twice a week.

However in a statement to the media at weekend BCC public relations officer Nesisa Mpofu called government to urgently complete Mtshabezi-Mzingwane pipeline. Last year the government through the Ministry of Water Resources started constructing Mtshabezi-Mzingwane pipeline in order to ease Bulawayo water woes.

“The water supply situation is critical, considerable progress has been realised regarding the Mtshabezi-Mzingwane link and we are hopeful that this will come on board shortly,” said Mpofu.

Mpofu added: “As at the end of this month five city’s water supply dams had a combined capacity of 156,4million cubic meters of water against the potential 263 million cubic meters of water representing 43,1percent of total capacity”.

The Matabeleland region received less than average rainfall this year, and Bulawayo has already decommissioned two supply dams – Upper Ncema and Umzingwane – leaving only three dams: Insiza, Lower Ncema and Inyankuni.

Two weeks ago, Water Resources Minister Sam Sipepa Nkomo announced that a plan drawn in 1912 to construct a 400km pipeline from the Zambezi River to Bulawayo will become a reality in two years after the Chinese government availed US$2 billion for the project.
The Matabeleland Zambezi Water Project is seen as a permanent solution to the water woes experienced by Bulawayo’s population of close to a million people

In past years funding problems have been blamed for the failure of the project to take off.  In2005, a Chinese contractor, China International Water Electrical, abandoned the project due to lack of funding and moved equipment off the site.