This past Saturday, the people in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe were asked by authorities to pay close attention to what their clocks and watches indicated, and make sure they all flushed their toilets at the same time: 7:30 p.m. on the dot.
Apparently, the main drive behind this rather peculiar request had to do with the fact that, as a result of the recent drought that hit this region, those in charge of keeping a close eye on the wellbeing of the residents of Bulawayo had no choice but to limit their water supply.
More precisely, given the fact that two of the dams that provided running water to the people living in this part of the world dried up, authorities were forced to impose 72 hours of water rationing per week.
It is not difficult to guess that these restrictions have more than taken their toll on the city's sewage lines, and that once water was restored it was of utmost importance for this Big Flush to be carried out in order to clean the pipes and make sure public health was not threatened by any potential disease outbreaks.
Thus, previous similar situations have led to outbreaks of cholera and typhoid, so it comes as no surprise that significant efforts are made to keep this from happening.
As one council spokesperson explains, “Every household is requested to flush their toilets sytematically at 7.30 p.m., the very day after the 72 hours of water shedding. This is done to prevent any sewer blockages as we anticipate longer periods without water in the reticulation system.”
inform us that, seeing how the issue of droughts and its effects on local water reservoirs seem to only get worse in Zimbabwe as the months go by, it is quite likely that water supply could soon be limited to a larger extent.
“Water rationing may be extended to 92-hours periods. The situation is very serious,” explained the same council spokesperson.