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Water shortages in urban areas Essay

An analysis of the “Impacts of water rationing on public health”: Case study of Makokoba, Bulawayo Introduction Zimbabwe local governance is made up of a system of city councils and municipalities which are mandated to provide water and sanitation services and goods to their respective residents. This system has been effective during the colonial era where the urban areas were less populated than there are at the present moment. The Zimbabwe post-independence period has seen a large influx of people into the urban areas.

The population growth in urban areas meant that most city councils and municipalities are failing to cope with the water demand. The major reason is that the rate of population increase in urban areas is by far greater than that of improving or increasing the existing water supply. Background information

However worries over water supply in Bulawayo is only part of a larger trend across urban Africa1. Water is vital to any development, and its availability or dearth is a major driving force behind migration, population growth, and economic development, among other factors. As a whole, Africa has relatively ample water supply potential2. Bulawayo is the second largest city in Zimbabwe, which was established in the 1840s. Its economy was built around it being a center of industry for the nation and a hub of transportation for the Southern Africa region.

With this economic development, Bulawayo saw an unabated increase in water demand over the past three decades, with increasing urbanization, economic activity (until 2000), and population growth, which has steadily increased over time, to around 655675 (CSO 2012), in line with urban areas across Zimbabwe3. Bulawayo as a city and province has failed to secure a long term and sustainable water resources to meet its water demands both domestic and industrial.

Its main water supply was reliant on five dams but currently being supplied by Insiza and Lower Ncema and Umzingwane with the other two being decommissioned. This led to the city council to introducing the 72hours per week rationing strategy to save the remaining water resources prior to the rainy season. The water stress currently being faced by the city is attributed by several factors such as its geographical location, increased population, climate
effects and underdevelopment of infrastructure4. DAM VOLUMES 9/09/13

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