Bulawayo residents are likely to face more water challenges as the local authority has indicated that it has no capacity to repairs broken down boreholes at a time when the city has rolled out a 48-hour water shedding programme.
The water shedding schedule was re-introduced at the beginning of this month owing to challenges with raw water pumping at Ncema Water Works and Inyankuni Dam.
To further compound the situation, as some community boreholes in the city are not working, with the local authority revealing in its latest report that it does not have skilled people to fix the boreholes.
As of March 2019, 334 boreholes were operational while 15 were not working and 28 were yet to be equipped.
According to the Future Water Supplies and Water Action Committee minutes, Acting Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Sikhumbuzo Ncube said council outsources skilled labour to fix the boreholes.
“Responding to various issues regarding boreholes the Acting Director Engineering Services advised that each ward had a water Point User Committee formed to manage and secure that boreholes.
“Council had no experts to repair and service boreholes hence the use of contractors to repair,” read parts of the minutes.
Alderman Clayton Zana noted that most of the boreholes were out of order and raised concern at the local authority`s incapacitation to fix the boreholes.
“Councillor Joyce Ndlovu also raised that Ward 2 residents were up in arms regarding the use of their borehole located in Northend by residents from other wards. They felt it was necessary to provide security and have non-residents pay to get water,” read the minutes.
The Director of Engineering Services reported that the quality of the water at most of the boreholes was fairly good. A few boreholes had a high degree of saltiness.
“Bacteriological quality of borehole water could not be guaranteed since the water was untreated and subject to contamination at any time from environmental factors like sewer overflows and bacteriological contaminated soil. Residents were therefore advised to boil borehole water before drinking,” read the minutes.