BCC accused of misplaced priorities


Jeffrey Muvundusi

BULAWAYO Progressive Residents Association (Bpra) has accused the city council of misplaced priorities — a development it says has exacerbated the current water crisis.

The Bpra’s concerns come after the local authority recently suspended water supplies for two weeks without notice.

Residents, who have been enduring a 144-hour water shedding schedule, were caught unaware recently after the City Fathers announced plans to shelve the timetable until month-end, citing water supply challenges.

On Monday, council announced that water supplies would be restored at some high lying areas despite the situation on the ground indicating that supply has not been restored in many other areas.

“Of course we know that Bulawayo receives minimal rainfall, but poor planning and misplaced priorities on the part of council has accelerated the adverse effects of the climate change hence the situation we face.

“We cannot abdicate responsibility for our present and our future on people who cannot plan. We cannot trust this council to extricate ourselves from this crisis that we face,” said Bpra coordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu.

Bulawayo mayor Solomon Mguni was, however, not reachable for comment.

Residents here have for the past three months battled to access tap water due to the on-going water shedding. This has seen them resorting to boreholes and water bowsers with the worst case scenario being unsafe sources.

Recently, the local authority was under the spotlight after 13 people in the city’s Luveve suburb succumbed to water borne diseases, while over 2 000 were affected.

The city fathers have, in vain, appealed to the government to declare the water crisis in the city a national disaster.

While the city has been endeavouring to ensure a safe water supply for its residents, a number of factors such as accessibility of foreign currency to acquire necessities and breakdown of facilities, among others, have been a huge setback.

This has led to a number of interruptions in the supply chain.

Last week, Town clerk Christopher Dube said the latest water interruption was due to prolonged time needed for the city’s reservoirs to recover following the theft of 2km of electricity supply cables and electricity supply challenges.

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