Beleaguered City of Bulawayo Forced to Engage Engineers over Perennial Water Crisis

Beleaguered City of Bulawayo Forced to Engage Engineers over Perennial Water Crisis

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AUTHORITIES at City of Bulawayo say they are currently consulting their engineers in order to formulate a response to some disgruntled residents, who recently protested against poor service delivery by the local authority.

On 26 February 2024, some Bulawayo residents represented by Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) delivered a letter to City of Bulawayo complaining about poor service delivery, as the local authority was implementing water rationing measures, which they protested against, as a denial of their right to safe, clean, and potable water as enshrined in section 77(a) of the Constitution.

In the letter, which was written by BPRA’s lawyers Prisca Dube and Jabulani Mhlanga of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, the residents, complained that water rationing was currently at its worst in Bulawayo, with some suburbs experiencing prolonged water rationing for over three weeks.

The water crisis, the residents said, had resulted in key critical public institutions such as medical facilities and institutions of learning without alternative water sources such as boreholes, requesting residents and students to bring water from their homes to use and this had a negative impact on proper service delivery.

The residents proposed that the situation facing the City of Bulawayo necessitated that it be declared as a water shortage area by Anxious Masuka, the Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, in terms of section 61 of the Water Act.

In addition, the residents said, the perennial water crisis in Bulawayo, which is persisting at a time when the country is grappling with a devastating cholera outbreak, warranted that a state of disaster should be declared by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in terms of section 27 of the Civil Protection Act before innocent lives are lost.

The declaration, the residents said, would allow for the necessary relief to be afforded to alleviate the local authority’s current water crisis and hopefully pave the way for a long-term solution.

The residents demanded to be furnished within seven days, with information on the steps and measures that the City of Bulawayo and the relevant stakeholders, which include government, were taking to address and arrest the current and perennial water crisis in the country’s second largest city.

In response to the residents’ letter, the Chamber Secretary for City of Bulawayo, Sikhangele Zhou, told Dube and Mhlanga that the local authority is currently consulting its personnel employed in the Department of Engineering Services to formulate a comprehensive response, which would be furnished to the aggrieved residents.

ENDS

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