Residents in Pumula East have bemoaned poor water administration by the Bulawayo City Council citing that the ongoing water shedding scheme is infringing on their right to portable water as the precious liquid is always unavailable.
During an edition of the Digital Townhall meeting that was facilitated by the local Councillor Sikhululekile Moyo and the Member of Parliament for Pumula constituency Sichelesile Mahlangu, residents said Pumula East residential suburb no longer appears on the provisional water supply restoration schedule.
“Some households have gone for nearly 6 months without receiving tap water due to the ongoing water shedding scheme,” said one of the residents.
Residents encouraged the local authority to fix and conceal water pipes because leaving them uncovered often exposes them to vandalism. Women highlighted that residents often vandalise pipes as they would have spent several weeks without running water. In worse scenarios, trenches are left bare for close to 6 months without any action being done to ensure that instances of vandalism are minimized.
“Continued vandalism of water pipes is affecting women. There are instances where you can wait up to three hours at water points and this wastes productive time from your schedule. Council delays to cover exposed water pipes,” added one resident from Pumula East.
Residents said when water bowsers are availed, residents are permitted to fetch only four buckets of water and that is hardly adequate for families. Most affected areas are in high lying areas.
Bulawayo Ward 17 Councilor Sikhululekile Moyo cited that she will encourage Council Engineers to improve on responding swiftly on exposed water pipes in Pumula East. BSWIP is currently working towards upgrading water pipes.
Councilor Moyo further added that four valves have since been purchased from outside the country following a burst that occurred last year in December leading to an inability of water supply in Pumula East.
“It looks optimistic that by February there is a possibility of improving water supply for residential suburbs that benefited from the upgrade, “she added.
Alderman Clayton Zana cited people should be cautious of the interconnectedness of the water pipes.
“We should all take responsibility, both Council and Ward residents, over providing services as well as playing our role in through paying utility bills,” said Zana. “Council should not punish residents, there needs to be long lasting solutions to the ongoing water crisis.”
It was stated that there are alternative water sources which comprise of water kiosks, water bowsers, and water storage tanks. Water bowsers supply water twice a week.
Member of Parliament for Pumula Constituency, Honourable Sichelesile Mahlangu cited that she will do all in her power to ensure that there can be improved water supply for ward residents in her Constituency. She expressed concern over the manner that residents are not receiving water in her Constituency especially at a time when the country is battling with COVID-19.
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