Water woes bedevilling the city of Bulawayo will only be solved through prayer. This is the belief of Bulawayo mayor Thaba Moyo.

Looming drought and the decommissioning of two dams leave residents to endure 96 painful hours of water shedding each week.

Speaking at the 2012 Annual Review in Bulawayo recently, Moyo said the city’s hopes lied in God. “The city must continue to put its trust in the Lord who is faithful. In the meantime let us be good stewards and conserve the little water that we have,” Moyo appealed. “We are appealing to the churches that wherever they are, they should pray for the rains because God is the owner of the rains.”
Moyo said, though regrettable, the city council introduced water shedding as a desperate measure to curb water woes.
“2012 was a difficult year overall, as the water supply situation deteriorated due to the poor rains received in the previous rainy season. This subsequently saw the city introducing water shedding where residents go for 96 hours [in a row] without water.”
“Regretably, while water shedding is very difficult for all of us, it is necessary because we have already decommissioned two dams,”Moyo said.
Moyo warned that two more dams may be decommissioned if rains do not come early, with lower Ncema likely to be decommissioned in December, whilst Inyankuni dam near Mbalabala (ca 66 km south-east of Bulawayo) will be decommissioned early March next year.
This leaves the city with one supply dam which only supplies 45 million litres a day against a surge in demand for water of 120 million litres, with hopes that the water from the Mtshabezi (a tributary of the Thuli River) would be made available soon to water-starved residents.
With another drought looming in Matabeleland where there is perennial low rainfall, the residents hope that the Mtshabezi water which has taken the city council 100 years to tap into might come soon. They hope and pray.