Byo rules out de-watering CBD

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Jeffrey Muvundusi

BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has shelved plans to de-water the aquifer underneath the central business district (CBD) amid fears of collapse of buildings.

Simela Dube, BCC’s engineering services director, said the CBD could not be de-watered as that would require the relocation of the economic centre of the second largest city in the country.

“It was not possible to get water from the city aquifer because of the buildings. Current drilling technology meant drilling would be vertical and the Central Business District might have to be relocated, however, basement water was not sufficient to supply significant quantities to the city,” said Dube while responding to a question raised by Pumula councillor Sikhululekile Moyo during a meeting.

“To get sufficient supply there was need to drill quite a number of boreholes and it would occupy most of the CBD. The Matsheumhlope aquifer was likely to be contaminated,” he added.

Engineers in the city have indicated that there was plenty of untapped water underneath the CBD. The CBD was built on an underground “river” known as the Matsheumhlope aquifer.

With the water crisis being the order of the day lately, the city fathers are in a quandary over how to tap that water.
Residents have for months endured a strenuous water shedding regime which has seen them going for a week without the precious liquid.

The council has resorted to introducing water kiosks and bowsers to mitigate the dire situation. The city’s water supply dams are at less than 25 percent full, raising more panic.

The city fathers recently met President Emmerson Mnangagwa at Bulawayo State House where the latter promised to avail funds to address the city’s perennial water crisis.

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