Nust study to ease water crisis Professor Dumisani John Hlatshwayo

Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
THE National University of Science and Technology (Nust) is set to release results of a 10-year study on Bulawayo’s underground water whose recommendations, if implemented, will ease the city’s water crisis.

Bulawayo is experiencing the worst water crisis in the city’s history due to plummeting water levels at city’s dams.

The council decommissioned three of the city’s six dams and some suburbs have gone for more than eight months without water.

The university’s department of Applied Science and a team from Geophysics Research Group conducted the research with support from a Swedish university.

Findings of the research are expected to be released by the end of next month.

Some of the issues to be contained in the report is the quantity of underground water in the city as well as the level of underground contamination.

Its recommendations would be availed to the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works and Bulawayo City Council (BCC).

The Geophysics Research Group expects the outcome of the research will help Bulawayo address the water crisis in future.

This emerged yesterday when Nust handed a drilled and equipped borehole, to one of the city’s Covid-19 centres, Ekusileni Medical Centre in Bulawayo.

Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Cde Judith Ncube cuts a ribbon to commission a borehole donated by NUST Geophysics Research Group to Ekusileni Hospital in Bulawayo yesterday. Looking on from left are Professor Dumisani Hlatshwayo, NUST Director of Communication and Marketing Mr Thabani Mpofu, Ekusileni Hospital CEO Dr Absalom Dube, Vice Chancellor Professor Mqhele Dlodlo and NUST chairman Engineer Alvord Mabena

At the same function, Zimbabwe Christian Alliance donated disinfectants, blankets among other goods to support the hospital which is due to open at the end of this month.

Nust’s dean of Applied Sciences and head of the Geophysics Research Group Professor Dumisani John Hlatshwayo said the research will provide data on ways to improve access to water.

“We have been carrying out magnetic surveys, we have been finding water levels at existing boreholes in Bulawayo and we have gone into investigating water contamination and finding out where these contaminants are coming from. So far, we believe that we have enough data and we have analysed enough of that data and are able to present a report which is a plausible report which will be useful to BCC. And we believe the town planners will be able to use that information,” said Prof Hlatshwayo.

“So far, what we are interested in is where in Bulawayo do we get water, if it is flowing, in which direction is it flowing. Where should people be interested in drilling water because when there is no water, people want to get it from underground. But it’s not everywhere that people will get water.”

He said Nust has started to offer water exploration services in realisation that most borehole drilling companies deliberately leave that component to avoid incurring costs.

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Judith Ncube commended Nust for showing innovation towards addressing some of the country’s problems.

She said research should lead the way as opposed to guess work which can be costly for the nation.

Minister Ncube commended stakeholders in Bulawayo for working towards improving the quality of life complementing various organisations that have committed towards fighting Covid-19.

The event was attended by Nust council chair Engineer Alvord Mabena, Vice Chancellor Mqhele Dlodlo and Nust senior management and several Government officials.-@nqotshili

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