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Pumula East goes dry for six months

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TAMARY CHIKIWA

RESIDENTS in Pumula East have gone for almost six months without water after the suburb was struck off the city’s water restoration schedule.
Bulawayo City Council (BCC) imposed a water shedding regime as the city faces water woes. BCC restores water in suburbs in turns and it releases a water restoration schedule weekly.

During a Digital Town Hall meeting facilitated by councillor Sikhulekile Moyo and Pumula East legislator Sichelesile Mahlangu recently,residents bemoaned the prevailing water shedding programme saying it is putting their health in danger in the wake of Covid-19.

Moyo said the water crisis is a result of a burst pipe that occurred in the suburb last year and BCC is working on restoring the connection.

“Four valves have now been purchased from outside the country and we are optimistic that engineers are going to work on the situation,” she said.

Mahlangu said she will act to ensure that water is restored as this poses a health threat to residents during this Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s not healthy and BCC has to act as a matter of urgency. We already have Covid-19 to fight so we cannot be exposing residents to poor services,” she said.

Residents also bemoaned the continued vandalism of water pipes in the area as a major reason for the burst pipes. They encouraged the council to come up with a way of covering up the pipes so they are not exposed.

“Residents often vandalise water pipes as they would have gone for months without running water. BCC should conceal these pipes because they are exposed to vandalism.

“This is one major reason why there are bursts causing us to go for months without water,” a resident, Zanele Nyoni told the meeting.

Residents said in worst scenarios trenches are left bare for months without being attended to leading to them not getting any water connection.

The Pumula East dwellers said when the council avails water bowsers to ease the situation, each household was only allowed to receive 80 litres which is inadequate for domestic use.

“This usually leads to residents opting for unsafe water which is not healthy,” Nyoni added.

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