Water Resources and Development Minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo has said the water crisis facing the city of Bulawayo can not be declared a state of emergency, dampening calls from civic society organisations pushing for this option.
Addressing councillors and stakeholders in the city on Friday, Nkomo said while government is aware of the water situation in the city, he noted that there are some parts of the country that are in dire situations and have resorted to reclaimed water.
“If any minister must declare a crisis, it follows a process. You don’t alone wake up one morning and you have declared a crisis, you need to carry along Cabinet colleagues so that it can receive the importance (it deserves),” he said.
“I have heard people saying we need to declare Bulawayo a national disaster and yes I’ve got a document of some NGOs that are advocating that I must declare Bulawayo a national disaster. I take into account as well that I have other cities and sometimes you might think you are the worst, there are other where the situation is also as dire as you are.”
However, Minister’s sentiments comes against increased calls by Matabeleland Civic Society Forum on challenging government to declare the region a state of crisis.
In an effort to save water left in the three of five supply dams, Bulawayo city council has since intensified its water rationing schedule from 48hours to 78hours (three days) per week.