Home Council Bulawayo residents hopeful for relief as government steps up efforts to address water woes

Bulawayo residents hopeful for relief as government steps up efforts to address water woes

by Bustop TV News

The Zimbabwean government is increasing its efforts to help the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) tackle its long-standing water crisis.

In late February, the government allocated ZWL$7 billion to the BCC for water projects, including the Glass Block Dam and the Nyamandlovu aquifer, according to Local Government Minister Winston Chitando.

During a press conference, he explained that ZWL$6.9 billion was disbursed as part of devolution funds. This money can be used in local or foreign currency, depending on project needs.

“For instance, buying cement can be done with local currency, but importing equipment requires foreign currency,” he said, as reported by Newsday.

“We will work with the Finance Ministry and Reserve Bank to facilitate access to foreign currency for critical situations like this.”

Securing the US$14 million needed for the Nyamandlovu security arrangements is a key short-term goal. The government will assist BCC in securing foreign currency to expedite this project.

Bulawayo Mayor David Coltart confirmed receiving the funds but highlighted the challenge of obtaining foreign currency.

“The money is available, but it’s in local currency. We need to hire private companies for tasks like rehabilitating pump stations, and those companies require foreign currency for their imported equipment,” he said.

This collaboration between the government and BCC offers hope for alleviating Bulawayo’s water crisis.

Bulawayo’s water crisis deepened after the city council stopped its water rationing plan due to failing pumps at the Ncema Dam. This prompted the government to intervene.

Speaking to this publication recently, Winos Dube, head of the Bulawayo United Residents Association, said residents are struggling and described the situation as “desperate.” He urged officials to prioritize the Lake Gwayi-Shangani project, a long-term solution to the city’s water woes.

“The only way to fix Bulawayo’s water problems is for the government and city council to work faster on the Lake Gwayi-Shangani project,” he said.

Resident Nelson Dube echoed these concerns, highlighting the public health risks.

“The lack of water for weeks raises fears of a cholera outbreak,” he explained.

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