Residents of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second-largest city, face a water crisis after the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) cut off electricity at the city’s water pumps for emergency maintenance of electricity infrastructure.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, 19 October 2022, the City of Bulawayo’s acting Town Clerk Sikhangele Zhou advised residents that the current 72-hour shedding programme will be suspended as water supplies will be cut off to all areas until the power utility restores electricity. Reads the statement:
NOTICE OF POSSIBLE WATER SUPPLIES INTERRUPTION AND TEMPORARY SUSPENSION OF 72-HOUR SHEDDING DUE TO THE ZETDC SHUTDOWN AT ESIGODINI.
The public is hereby informed of water supply interruptions to all suburbs as a result of an emergency maintenance shutdown by Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) at Inyankuni in Esigodini on Wednesday, 19 October 2022 from 07:00hrs to 18:00hrs.
This will have an impact on raw water pumping volumes at both Ncema Treatment Works and Fernhill Booster Station, and consequently, affect production at Criterion Water Works.
The shutdown will result in minimal pumping or treatment at all three of the above-mentioned stations, depleting the City’s Supply and Distribution reservoirs.
To prevent the water system from collapsing, the City of Bulawayo will temporarily suspend the current 72-hour shedding programme and cut off supply to all areas until the ZETDC shutdown is completed and power is restored at all three plants, allowing water treatment and pumping to resume.
Residents are advised that supplies will be restored once treatment and pumping have resumed and the city reservoirs have been raised to acceptable levels.
Meanwhile, residents are advised to conserve water and keep taps turned off in the event that the work is completed sooner.
The City of Bulawayo wishes to apologise to its valued consumers for the inconvenience likely to be caused.