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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.

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