Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) will today and tomorrow shut down water supplies citywide before reintroducing a 48-hour water shedding schedule on Monday.
Acting Town Clerk, Mrs Sikhangele Zhou, yesterday said the drastic action was taken mainly due to Zesa power cuts and a burst on a major supply pipe. She, however, said industry, the central business district and mines will be exempted from shedding.
The local authority warned that residents in high lying areas could be affected beyond the scheduled 48-hour period.
In July, BCC cut supplies across the city to stabilise water levels at reservoirs while conducting major rehabilitation works under the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP).
In a statement yesterday, Mrs Zhou said council will shut down supplies across the city today before reopening taps on Sunday as it stabilises its water reservoirs.
“Residents are advised that water supply will be cut off on Friday, the 20th September 2019 and Saturday the 21st September 2019 citywide and reopened on Sunday, 22nd of September 2019. Thereafter, we would like to advise residents that the 48-hour water shedding will then resume as per the attached programme with effect from Monday, the 23rd of September 2019,” said Mrs Zhou.
She said the water shedding programme is subject to change if the raw water reservoir level improves or deteriorates beyond the critical level.
“All the areas that are on high ground and are likely to be affected for more than 48hrs will have water supply by bowsers. Residents are urged to conserve water until further notice,” she said.
Mrs Zhou said low water levels at reservoirs are a result of power cuts and a major pipe burst.
She said the situation was worsened by water consumption levels that have increased above council’s daily pumping average.
“The public is being advised that the City of Bulawayo is currently experiencing challenges with both raw and clear water pumping to the Criterion Raw Water, Tuli Clear Water and Magwegwe Reservoirs. Tuli and Criterion Reservoirs have been affected by reduced power load by Zesa which affected pumping for the past two weeks at Ncema Water Treatment works, Ncema Pump stations and Fernhill Booster Station.
“The supply of water was also affected by a major leak on the Nyamandlovu pipeline which also feeds into Magwegwe Reservoir,” she said.
“In light of the outlined challenges and also against the background of the growing average daily consumption of 150ML/ day to 154ML/day versus production of 140ML/day to 145ML/day, which the city has been experiencing since the lifting of water shedding in July, the city’s supply and distribution reservoirs have suffered rapid depletion leading to this emergency shedding so as to stabilise and raise them to satisfactory levels.”
Mrs Zhou said Nkulumane, Nketa, Sizinda, Tshabalala, Bellevue, Newton West, West Somerton, Cowdray Park, Emakhandeni, Gwabalanda, Maplanka, Barbourfields, Mzilikazi, Nguboyenja, Makokoba, Hillside South, South Riding, Fourwinds, Hillside, Northend, Tegela, Romney Park, Paddonhurst suburbs will affected by the water shedding on Monday to Wednesday.
Others suburbs under the same regime are Sunnyside, Morningside, Rowena, Montrose, Southwold, Greenhill, Barham Green, Kenilworth, Ilanda, Burnside and Mbalabala Barracks as well as Mzinyathini Irrigation Scheme.
She said from Tuesday to Thursday Esigodini, Imbizo Barracks, Fortunes Gate, Selborne Park, Matsheumhlophe, Parklands, Khumalo, Queenspark, Suburbs, Mahatshula, Woodville, Kingsdale suburbs will be affected by the water shedding exercise while supplies will be cut off for Harrisvale, Jungle, Trenance, Richmond, Sauerstown and Neqi between Wednesday and Friday.
Mrs Zhou said Emganwini, Pumula, Nketa 9, Luveve, Magwegwe, Njube, Entumbane, Mpopoma, Lobengula, Mabutweni, Iminyela, Pelandaba, Matshobane will also have water shedding from Wednesday to Friday. — @nqotshili.