Zimbabwe city orders synchronised toilet flush
Zimbabwe’s second largest city of Bulawayo has told residents to synchronise their toilet flushing to minimise sewer pipe bursts after the local authority introduced 72-hour water cuts a week.
The city’s one million residents would flush their toilets at 7:30pm on the day the water is restored to their homes.
Last month, Bulawayo started rationing water after two of its five supply dams dried up because of drought.
“Every household is requested to flush their toilets systematically at 7.30pm, the very day after the 72 hours of water shedding,” council spokesperson Nesisa Mpofu said.
“This is done to prevent any sewer blockages as we anticipate longer periods without water in the reticulation system.”
She said the ‘Big Flush’ was in addition to the normal flushing that would occur during the day.
Council has warned the water shortages could get worse as two more dams may dry up before the rainy season begins in November.
“Water rationing may be extended to 92-hour periods. The situation is very serious,” Mrs Mpofu said.
Zimbabwe’s urban areas have been battling water shortages for the past decade due to lack of new investments.
Bulawayo had its last supply built in 1979, a year before Zimbabwe’s independence from Britain.
In Harare, the water shortages have resulted in intermittent outbreaks of cholera and typhoid.
The worst outbreak that was contained in 2010 resulted in 4,293 deaths and 98,741 cases were reported.
President Robert Mugabe’s government declared the outbreak a national emergency, and it was described as the deadliest African cholera outbreak in the last 15 years.