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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bulawayo asks residents to flush toilets at same time

Bulawayo asks residents to flush toilets at same time

21/09/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

BULAWAYO’S two million residents are being asked to flush their toilets all
at the same time once every three days as the city grapples with a worsening
water crisis.

There is not enough water in the reticulation system and waste is not moving
for days. The build-up is causing sewer pipes to burst all over the city,
say council officials.

Now engineers are recommending that every household must flush their toilets
at 7.30PM every three days when water services are restored across the city
during the on-going water shedding.

Simela Dube, Bulawayo’s director of engineering services, said: “We need to
flush our toilets at the same time to push all the waste that will just be
under the surface as residents would be using little water to flush toilets
during water shedding hours.”

In a statement, council spokeswoman Nesisa Mpofu added: “Every household is
requested to flush their toilets systematically at 7.30PM the very day when
water is back after the 72 hours of water shedding.

“This is done to prevent any sewer blockages as we anticipate longer periods
without water in the reticulation system. Please note that this is in
addition to the normal flushing that will occur during the day.

“This is due to the recent water shedding programme by council which has
seen a reduced amount of water entering the sewer system.”

Two of Bulawayo’s five water supply dams have already been decommissioned
and the water levels have reached critical levels at the remaining dams –
the result of the worst drought in south-western Zimbabwe in almost four

A long-mooted plan to build a pipeline to draw water from the Zambezi River
has reached implementation stage after the Chinese government committed
US$2,2 billion for the project – but it will not be complete for at least
another two years.

As a long-term solution is being pursued, Bulawayo residents are going for
up to two weeks without water. The worst hit areas are Entumbane,
Harrisvale, Old Pumula, New Magwegwe and New Lobengula.

Council spokesman Mpofu explained: “Water, unlike electricity, takes long to
move from the nearest reservoir to the point of consumption particularly if
the latter is far. Also water flows to low lying areas first.

“The residential areas that are not receiving water are all high altitude
areas and will always be the last to receive water.”

The council has been sending water bowsers to worst affected areas.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Preserve the aura of Mana Pools

Preserve the aura of Mana Pools http­://

September 16, 2012 in Environment
“HERE is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural
resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your
children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy
interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”Report
by Chipo Masara

The above quotation, by Theodore Roosevelt, might be beginning to gain
relevance in Zimbabwe.

A conflict is currently brewing over what environmental conservationists
perceive to be an ongoing system that fulfils economic needs at the expense
of the environment and tourism.

There is growing concerns that conservation and biodiversity areas that had
for long been set aside for not only the financial benefit of the country’s
tourism industry, but especially for the posterity of present and future
generations, may be facing serious dangers, which many fear may spell out
their demise.

The current bone of contention is a Unesco World Heritage Site, which
encompasses Mana Pools National Park, Sapi and Chewore Safari areas.
A locally-owned company was allegedly issued with a licence last year in
September to undertake exploration activities for heavy mineral sand
deposits (HMSD) in Ruckomechi and Chewore rivers. The extracted sands would
consist of ore deposits yielding minerals such as thorium, titanium,
tungsten and zirconium. Diamonds and other gems may also be discovered.

To get the deposits, experts believe two mining methods would most likely be
employed; either dredging or suction (sucking up of the sand), or earth
moving, which would involve actually moving the sand and trucking it away.
The licences are said to have covered an area from the escarpment to the
Zambezi River (65km from Chewore and 45km from Ruckomechi).

Besides the unavoidable damage to the flora and fauna that tends to take
place when a project of such a nature is undertaken, mining in the area
presents many problems.

The human traffic in the area, besides that of tourists and the Heritage
Site employees, is bound to intensify the already problematic human/wildlife
conflict as wildlife still thrives in the area.

There are currently serious fears that poaching activities may have greatly
decimated the country’s wildlife, with elephants and rhinoceros being the
main targets.

Mining activities in the rivers will also result in the water getting
heavily polluted.

Furthermore, if mining activities in this area were to be given the green
light by responsible authorities, it is bound to compromise the area’s
standing as a World Heritage Site.

A place is considered a World Heritage Site if “it is a property of
outstanding universal value because of its cultural and/or natural
significance, which is so exceptional as to transcend national boundaries
and to be of common importance for present and future generations of all
humanity . . .”

There are 962 properties from all over the world on the Unesco World
Heritage List.

By being on the list, it means the Mana Pools area is not important only to
Zimbabweans, but to the whole world. This explains why there has been an
outcry from people from different parts of the world concerning the intended
mining venture and a plea to the government to put an immediate halt to it.

A Facebook page, which has since gained popularity (currently with more than
2 000 likes), has been created, called Save Mana Pools. Many that have been
commenting on the page said they had visited the World Heritage Site and
cherish the area. They expressed hope that their children would also be
allowed the chance to enjoy the God-given natural resource.

But according to a well-placed source, the explorations, and possibly even
the actual mining, might have long begun if it wasn’t for a late request for
an environmental impact assessment (EIA). This brings us to the issue of

According to the country’s environmental laws, any activity of such impact
cannot be carried out before an EIA is conducted, to ensure that the
potential impact of a proposed action upon the environment is identified and
disclosed prior to a decision.

It then makes one wonder how it would be that a company that plans to mine
in a World Heritage Site may be handed a licence to explore before an EIA is
conducted and the results are available.

For the sake of preserving the World Heritage Site, its environment and the
tourism benefits to be reaped through its thriving, I hope there is no truth
to the allegations!

Bally Vaughan news

It has been six long and anxious weeks since Nduna the lion suffered a mysterious head injury that paralysed him and necessitated a move to a hospital pen for the hands-on nursing required for his rehabilitation.
Cocooned in his nest of fluffy blankets, duvets and hot water bottles each nihgt, hand-fed, bed-bathed and given water from a syringe every two hours, watched over and nurtured, Nduna’s remarkable recovery is testament to the will power and courage of a very special lion. The astonishing trust he placed in us made his rehabilitation possible. Happy to use a handy human body as a ballast as he learnt to walk again, revelling in the cuddles and pampering lavished upon him as we willed him to get better, the relationship we forged with Nduna during this time has inspired us all. Even Dr Vinay Ramlaul of the Twenty Four Hour Vet, who sponsored all Nduna’s treatment and got the unenviable task of giving Nduna several large injections each day got no more than a reproachful look as he sunk yet another huge needle into Nduna’s massive rump.

At last Nduna is up and walking, and although it will take months for him to have the full range of movement on his left side, we feel it is time for Nduna to return home to his companion Kadiki. Dr Keith Dutlow of the Aware Trust darts Nduna and we load his bulk onto the back of a truck for the short journey back to his enclosure. He is thoroughly examined by the vets who also give him a dental check (what big teeth he has!) and micro-chip him at the same time. When he comes round and finds himself at home the expression of utter delight on his beautiful, beloved face makes us laugh out loud with pleasure and relief. His joy at being back makes every second of his rehabilitation worthwhile.

He limps out into the late afternoon sunshine, still a little unsteady on his left side, crooning lovingly to mercurial Kadiki, who slides him several thoughtful, golden-lashed glances before strolling over  nonchalantly and settling down beside him with a little sigh. Nduna inspects every single one of his toys (and there are many!), washing them vigorously with his huge pink tongue and muttering about Kadiki’s lack of house-keeping skills. Then he drops his enormous body onto the grass and does an exuberant victory roll, legs paddling the air, mouth open in a giant-toothed grin of sheer bliss, juggling his battered collection of tyres between the paws we had been so afraid he would never use again. Nduna has everything he could possibly want, including a large pork dinner served with a flourish by one of the smiling feeders.

It feels as though there should be a whole stadium of people up on their feet, cheering Nduna’s triumphant return, but he has to make do with the jubilant Sanctuary staff singing and dancing in celebration on the dusty road before him. Welcome home, beloved  brave lion.

JOHANNA, the lioness we rescued in June continues to make progress. Each morning she comes to greet me, crooning softly as she limps across her beautiful new enclosure full of Msasa trees sporting their bright green, red and orange spring plumage. She has a routine now, bringing her collection of toys to show me, carrying them as if she killed them herself, and then showing off her football skills by dribbling a rock round and round her water dish, shooting quick golden glances in my direction to make sure I am paying attention. Then it is time for ‘Predator Yoga’ – a series of stretches and rolls accompanied by a running commentary of grunts and guttural exclamations. Once again I am expected to watch closely and offer lavish praise for her grace and skill.
Then she is off to the back of the enclosure to keep Joshua company. Johanna has been determined to befriend angry, aggressive Joshua, inching closer to him each day and bearing the brunt of his sudden frightening rages which are fortunately nowadays more noise than anything else. Now, after weeks of persistence, she settles with a happy sigh in a spot right beside him, giving them both comfort and companionship. If this lioness could smile, she would.
JOSHUA is still wary of us, too haunted by his past to shake off the demons of fear and mistrust just yet. But yesterday he lay a few metres from me, washing his calloused old paws and battered face after dinner, and I thought he finally looked content.

Our facebook site, Bally Vaughan Animal Sanctuary, has Nduna, Josh and Johanna’s stories in pictures.

We would like to thank you all for your fantastic support and encouragement during what has been a very challenging time at the Sanctuary. It makes such a difference to us all knowing we have so many wonderful people helping to keep the Sanctuary going, and the animals happy and safe. Special thanks to the Twenty Four Hour Vet and Dr Vinay Ramlaul, Cool Galah Australia, Sandie and Chalkie van Schalkwyk, Mogo Zoo, Friends of Paradise, Aware Trust, Sharon Nicholls whose positive thinking and fierce encouragement make things so much easier, Debs and Craig Sly, Andrew and Leigh Revolta, Di Fynn, Ashley-Kate Davidson, Chooks Langerman, Sarah Kenchington, Kerry Wallace of DV Productions, Jay and Rachel, Jackie Cocksedge, Ted and Carrie Perepeczko, Enid Graves, Carole Graham, Bev Lawes, Pauline Visser, Stuart Sylvester of Specialist Hire, Teresa Gaston and Alexa Volker, the Middleton family, Shane Zangel, the artist Heather Evans for a stunning, donated painting of one of our rescue lions, the artist Sheena Povall for constant and generous support through donating beautiful paintings to raise funds, Whelson Transport and Ian Silk, Sylvia Carter, Mike Garden, Sharon Wilson, Montana Meats, Douglyn Farm, Vera Taylor, Rose and Rogan Maclean, Lorraine Thomas and Mike Wedlock, George Kille and S&P, Prof Pat Kelly, Harare SPCA, The Cheeseman, Sherrol D’Elia and volunteer Sarah Stangle.

Sarah Carter
Tel: 263 772 592 944 or 263 733 436 239

Reps Reporter – September 2012

Reps Reporter – September 2012
Greetings to members and friends of Reps as the month of September progresses and we rapidly approach year end. As always, it’s busy down at Reps and all that’s needed to complete the picture is the pleasure of the company of Reps’ members and friends … at the show, or in the bar, or generally supporting and taking part in the various events and activities.
On stage in September and October
Running until Saturday September 22 is the Repertory Players’ 700th production – a presentation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, an O Level set book this year. Special discounts are available for schools’ bookings. It has been directed by John Dennison and, after 400 years, still a play with a powerful message. Advance booking is open at The Spotlight (call 308159). Performances this week are each evening at 7pm (no show Thursday because of the Combined Schools Concert elsewhere in town) plus a matinee at 2.30pm. Those of you who only come to musicals: break the mould and come for some serious dramatics!
In rehearsal now is Hairspray. Zane E Lucas directs the snappy, fun-filled musical all about a 60s girl with big hair and big ideas, offering fun for the whole family. Preview night is Wednesday October 3 (pensioners free) and then it runs from October 4 to 20. This offers huge fun and everyone is invited to experience the magic of this uplifting and exhilarating show, given the Zane Lucas treatment! Also coming up in Theatre Upstairs in October (October 3 to 6) is When Angels Weep, which made a successful showing earlier this year at HIFA 2012 and is being brought back to provide a rare theatrical treat to audiences who did not see it then. It’s a drama about life and abuse … and it will move everyone who sees it.
     The audition for the panto, Peter Pan, will be held on Sunday September 30 at 10.30am, in the Adrian Stanley Room. It’s open to everyone and what is needed is a large cast of people of all ages to sing or dance or act and generally make this great production a huge success for the public who flock in good numbers to enjoy it. Graham Crutchley will be directing and he will run the audition. The panto runs in December and rehearsals will be underway between September and December.
Membership news
All Reps members are asked to actively encourage friends and family members to join the society. If each member brings in one new member this year, we can easily just about double our numbers, thus ensuring our continued growth and vitality. Reps members also now enjoy an additional benefit through a partnership with the National Gallery of Zimbabwe – free entry to the Gallery and a discount on purchases in the shop there. Visit for more information about this vibrant place. Also being finalised is a similar relationship with the National Trust of Zimbabwe, which looks after historic and interesting properties in Zimbabwe, including the Nyanga Historical Exhibition, Nyanga; World’s View, Connemara, Nyanga; Fort Gomo, Kadzamu, Penhalonga; Murahwa’s Hill, Mutare; La Rochelle Estate, Penhalonga; Mubukuwene, Burnside, Bulawayo and Sebakwe Poort Park, Kwekwe.
Reprobates back in action
Reprobates back up and running, meeting every Thursday at 6.30pm. Initially the group gathers in the bar, just to live up to its name of course! Anyone over the age of 18 is more than welcome to come along and all prospective members are welcome. Reprobates is about all the various aspects and disciplines of theatre, not only acting. Sadly Reprobates will not be represented in the one-act play festival this year, principally because everyone is so heavily committed here.
Repteens active in the third term
Repteens has started up again for the third term, this week being the third session so far. As always, the third term will focus on original writing, allowing the Repteens to test their creativity and build on their scriptwriting and reading skills. All this is a build-up to the end-of-year original sketch show in Theatre Upstairs at the end of term. This year we will also be taking this show "on tour" to local old-age and children's homes around Christmas time, as we try to give back to our community the fun we have and the skills we have learned. The second half of this production will be a one-act play directed by Reps Regular and Repteen Parent Larry Greeff. More info on this to follow soon. In the third term it is typical for Repteens numbers to drop as our older members write O and A Level exams, so this term is mostly about our younger members. Repteens would like to thank everyone for their continued support, and we wish our older members and all their peers the very best of luck in their exams.
Preps’ busy third Term
Preps offers drama and theatre classes for children under 12 and is run by David Bvumbe and Faith Ganyau, meeting every Saturday morning during school terms to play games and learn how to make theatre. Preps provides a fun and interactive age-appropriate environment that will allow even the shyest child to grow and blossom. This term we continue in our exploration of character and movement as we work towards a final presentation that all members of the Reps family are invited to attend. Expect some favourite Christmas characters with twists only the imaginative minds of the Preps children could come up with! The cost for the term is $20 per child. Important dates for Preps this term: No Preps (Half Term): Oct 20; Preps ends: Dec 1 (end of term presentation and party).
Reptechs news
Things have been really busy for the backstage teams, with five shows in five weeks and maintenance included. Thanks to all the volunteers who pitched in willingly in maintenance week to help clean and repair vital equipment in the backstage areas, including Thania, Joy, Ken, Naphtali and Blessing, who are not actually members but who put in some hard work over the maintenance period. Looking ahead, we have some great shows coming into the theatre and if anyone would like to know more about working on shows backstage they should contact PJ Smyth through the Reps office.
Social events in September:
Sunday September 23 - THE WEAKEST LINK, the latest edition of this popular version of the great TV show. 6pm start. All welcome – no entry fee (day visitor cards available for non-members to buy drinks). Come to be a contestant … or come to watch. Light supper on sale afterwards. Friday September 28 - DUDU MANHENGA: live entertainment in the bar from Zimbabwe’s international songbird. from 8pm to 10pm. All welcome for a spectacular evening. Coming up in October are many events, including an Evening of Words (Monday October 8 at 6pm), the monthly Fun Pub Quiz (Sunday October 14 at 11.15am) and a Family Day (Sunday October 21) at which the band Retrospex will play and there will be braai.
Did you know …
… that Reps has two very generous and supportive Corporate Sponsors and that more are sought? A Corporate Sponsor helps keep Reps up and running and enjoys a number of benefits in terms of mileage and tickets for shows, as well as the satisfaction of supporting Zimbabwe’s most active theatrical group. Our Corporate Sponsors at present are Old Mutual and ZB Financial Holdings … and discussions are in place to bring on board more such vital supporters. Anyone wanting to know more about this can contact the Reps office.
Until next time, keep well
Reps Exco