By Staff Reporter
BULAWAYO residents have tabled a ZWL$1 Billion budget, to address the dire water crisis, which is slowly becoming a health time bomb for Zimbabwe’s growing second city.
The amount is almost triple the previous ZWL$311 million allocated to the city by Government.
The submissions were made during the 2021 national budget consultations by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Budget, Finance and Economic Development Goals Committee in Bulawayo.
According to the Centre for Innovation and Technology, Bulawayo is currently enduring a 144-hour-water-shedding schedule, which the local authority is struggling to adhere to due to scarcity of water resulting in some residents spending weeks without water.
During the submissions, Bulawayo Residents Association (BURA) representative Justice Jamela implored government to avail funds to improve the growing city’s water requirements as residents were now resorting to unsafe sources of water for various domestic water uses.
“The city keeps growing and people keep building houses. This becomes a strain on the already burdened local authority to avail water for everyone. Residents are now relying on sewer water to flush their toilets. This is a time bomb, especially now in the face of COVID- 19 which requires extreme hygiene. We risk contracting more diseases as residents of Bulawayo,” he said.
Early in the year, the Bulawayo was hit by a bad strain of Diarhoea, which claimed the lives of nine people, sadly, as a result of the continued of unsafe water due to a lack of clean water.
ZPP, released a damning report exposing the central government and local councils, focusing on the ‘Right of Access to Water’, conducted in three (3) cities namely Harare, Bulawayo, and Chegutu, respectively, cited residents’ concern over the lack of availability of clean and safe water.
Harare topped the list with 76% of water accessed by residents deemed unsafe and unclean, while 22% was deemed inaccessible or unavailable and 2% is accounted for by other sources of water.
Bulawayo was not far off, with 44% of water deemed unsafe and unclean, 12% inaccessible, or unavailable, with other sources of water drawing a large chunk of 42%.
For Chegutu, the report stated that 60% of water accessed by residents is unsafe and unclean, while 24% is inaccessible or unavailable and 16% accounting for other sources of water.
By Staff Reporter