Half of Bulawayo water is lost before reaching residents?

Verdict: Misleading

Source: A national newspaper wrote a story on May,3, with the headline ‘ Half of Bulawayo water lost before reaching residents” 


According to the article, the city is losing almost half of its water along its antiquated piping system before it reaches end users, further exacerbating the city’s water availability which has already seen most suburbs going for five days per week without the precious liquid.

According to Bulawayo City Council (BCC) senior Public relations Officer, Nesisa Mpofu the city loses 40 percent and not 50 percent of its treated water as the headline suggests.

“According to the City’s last study of non-revenue water which is done annually, we noted that the City is losing 40 percent of water through various means,” said Mpofu. 

“A total of 31 percent is lost through damaged infrastructure which we clarify as physical losses. The other 9 percent is lost through what we call commercial losses and this would be looking as aspects of billing, where at times estimations are made or these are inaccurate meter reading or through damaged meters.” 

BCC Senior Public Relations Officer Nesisa Mpofu

Mpofu said the local authority is currently working on the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage  Services project  which will see mains renewals, domestic meter replacement and attending to ageing infrastructure. 

“The City has however been working on the Bulawayo water and sewage services project to attend to non-revenue water challenges through the water mains upgrading. Mains renewal and bulk and domestic meter replacement project. 

“The project will attend to physical losses by attending to the aged infrastructure and also address the commercial losses by undertaking the replacement of meters which is currently ongoing,” said Mpofu. 

Background: Bulawayo residents are currently enduring 144-hour weekly water shedding. The City now relies on three major supply dams as the local authority decommissioned the Lower Ncema dam, last month. 

Some residents in western suburbs such as Pumula have reportedly resorted to sewage water for some household usage such as flushing toilets. 

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