Expedite pumping of Mtshabezi water to Bulawayo
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Dr Nkomo said the problem with pumps has been solved and now the engineers were doing test runs to identify and fix leaks.
The Mtshabezi project has missed several deadlines and residents of Bulawayo, including the city fathers, have lost hope of ever getting supplies from Mtshabezi Dam.
Minister Nkomo downplayed the problem of leaks, saying the leaks were expected and fixing them was part of the final touch ups to the project.
At one time engineers were struggling to connect generators and this problem is said to have been fixed. The Mtshabezi pipeline is expected to supply about 17 000 cubic metres of water to Bulawayo daily, which will reduce water shedding by 24 hours.
There are fears that unless pumping starts as soon as possible, the city, which is on a four-day a week water shedding schedule, might be forced to further tighten the shedding.
Those involved in the Mtshabezi pipeline project should appreciate that they are several months behind schedule and should therefore work extra hard to complete the project. Residents have had enough of the excuses for failing to complete the project.
What the Bulawayo residents are demanding is that water should reach the city without further delays. Minister Nkomo and his team must therefore ensure that this time around, the pumping starts in earnest.
It is crucial to simultaneously push for the implementation of other emergency water projects like the rehabilitation of boreholes at the Nyamandlovu aquifer. What is clear is that the city cannot rely on the water from Mtshabezi as the system is likely to constantly break down given the many challenges encountered before pumping starts.
There is need to ensure alternative supplies of water are availed so that in the event of a breakdown of the Mtshabezi pipeline pumping system, the city can turn to other supplies. There is no denying that the city is facing a water crisis and what is worrying is that the remaining supplies are fast dwindling.
The water shedding has not reduced daily water consumption significantly. When water shedding was introduced, the target was to reduce daily consumption from 133 000 cubic metres a day to at least 95 000 cubic metres but consumption has just gone down marginally to 123 000 cubic metres.
The challenge to Bulawayo residents is therefore to ensure that the city stretches the supplies left until such a time that the supplies are boosted by supplies from the emergency water projects that are being worked on. It is better to have limited supplies of water a day than to completely run dry.
Residents should therefore refrain from wasting water through such activities as watering gardens. There is need to use water sparingly if we are to conserve the limited supplies that are available.
We want to once again implore those working on the Mtshabezi pipeline project to ensure that the pumping starts as soon as possible.
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