Thursday, 2 August 2012

Water rationing in Bulawayo may be making things worse

After two years of poor rainfall, Bulawayo's water reserves are almost gone. In a desperate attempt to manage the last remaining reserves, the Bulawayo City Council has begun rationing water. The rationing means that residents go without water for a day, twice a week.

Unfortunately, reports suggest that the ages water pipe network in the city may not be able to cope with fluctuations in water pressure, causing burst pipes and leaks, further wasting precious water. It seems unlikely that the council will be able to repair all the damaged pipes.

On a national scale, Zimbabwe is preoccupied with a new draft constitution and a crucial upcoming election. Rural Zimbabweans are also facing severe hunger and worse this season due to poor rains. Already, there are reports of households selling off livestock and other key assets. The WFP estimates it will have a shortfall of $87m unless more assistance is urgently provided to meet the need between now and May 2013, when the lean season should end. The peak of the hunger and food shortages is anticipated between January and March 2013.

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