Bulawayo turns to God

BULAWAYO - As water woes continue to hit hard in Bulawayo, the city is now looking up to God, hoping the Almighty will open the skies and fill the empty dams.

The last time the dams which feed Bulawayo —Insiza, Inyankuni, Lower Ncema, Umzingwane and Upper Ncema — were full is a decade ago when Cyclone Leon Eline descended on Zimbabwe leaving a trail of destruction.

Now, more than 10 years later, the city fathers are still without a solution and are seeking divine intervention — a sure sign for residents that their representatives are without a clue.

Already, residents have their backs against the wall as they are subjected to massive water rationing which has seen some suburbs going without water for more weeks.

As if that is not enough, if rains do not fall by December one of the three last remaining dams, Lower Ncema will be decommissioned, leaving the city in doldrums.

And if the rains remain elusive by February next year, another dam will be decommissioned.

This will leave the city of more than one million people relying on one dam, which will not even be full.

To compound the desperate situation, Thaba Moyo, the Bulawayo mayor says the Mtshabezi dam project, which had been touted as the answer will not solve the water woes as it has no capacity to meet the city’s water demands.

This has left city fathers turning to prayer.

“God will not let us down. That much I believe. He will make the rains come down and fill our dams,” said Moyo.

Asked about a second option in case the rains fail, the mayor said: “We will find a way to survive. We are planning right now what we will do in case we have a dry rain season. We cannot suffer when there  is water at Zambezi. We will use trains to transport water from Zambezi to our dams like Ncema.”

However, the soft spoken mayor remains upbeat that the situation will not reach such levels and insists his council will think on its feet to subvert the looming disaster.

Moyo implicitly noted that there was a deliberate ploy to undermine projects in Matabeleland but he urged people to stop complaining and channel their efforts towards utilising available resources.

“There is the Zambezi Water Project, Nkayi road, Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport and Nkomo’s statue — we all know of these unfinished projects (in the region),” he said. - Lloyd Mbiba

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