Bulawayo council closes some public toilets as water shortages deepen


BULAWAYO – The city’s ongoing water crisis has forced the municipal authorities to close some public toilets, posing a health risk amidst a national cholera outbreak. This year’s water shortage is the most severe yet, due to a record-breaking drought affecting the entire southern Africa region.

Bulawayo council shuts down public toilets
Image: New Ziana 

The Bulawayo City Council has implemented strict water consumption limits and is collaborating with the government on several initiatives to boost supplies. 

These include drilling boreholes, expanding water sources, and stringent water management.

Bulawayo depends on six supply dams in Matabeleland South province: Insiza, Inyankuni, Lower Ncema, Upper Ncema, Umzingwane, and Mtshabezi. 

Some shop owners and vendors near public toilets have proposed managing some facilities for their customers.

Under this proposal, these businesses would supply their own water to operate the public toilets. 

The City Council has provisionally accepted this arrangement, provided the toilets remain accessible to the general public.

Edwin Sibanda Mzingwane, the council's health services director, said, “Communities close to the public toilets could bring stored water from their premises to keep the toilets clean, a potentially viable partnership during under the trying times.” 

However, he warned, “It was realised that turning the toilets in the residential areas into pay toilets was not economically viable.”

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