BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) needs at least $12 million to fully draw water from the Nyamandlovu Aquifer to augment its supplies which have been blamed for the demise of the city’s industries, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Addressing delegates at a breakfast business Forum organised by Innotec last week, BCC deputy mayor Gift Banda said the local authority was working to improve the investment climate in the city in order to revive the various sectors of the economy.
“As a city, we have a major role to play to promote business in Bulawayo. We have got a number of incentives that we are giving to businesses, such as the 50% discount to all companies owing the city of Bulawayo,” he said.
“There is a challenge with the issue of water in Matabeleland South. If we are to get something ranging from $6 million to $12 million, we can be able to draw water from Nyamandlovu Aquifer for the city of Bulawayo and that will go a long way in alleviating our problems.”
The Nyamandlovu boreholes, if fully operational, can supply the city with 16 000 cubic litres of water a day, which translates to a tenth of demand, according to studies.
If more boreholes were drilled at Epping Forest, also in Nyamandlovu, the two could supply the city with a fifth of its water demands.
Bulawayo has been facing perennial water shortages which have been attributed to increasing demand.
At the height of the crisis, the city was forced to introduce 96 hours of water shedding every week. The last dam to be built was commissioned in 1976. Since then, no single dam has been built to correspond with the city’s increasing population.
However, Banda said water was not the only reason why companies were shunning Bulawayo. He said companies were relocating to Harare due to the city’s large population.