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AfricaGlobal warmingZimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s water shortages forces cooking oil maker to halt operations

By Almot Maqolo

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Diversified agro-processor United Refineries Limited (URL) has suspended operations due to limited water supply in the country’s second largest city.

In April this year, the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) pleaded with the government to declare the city, which is currently facing crippling water shortages, a critical water shortage area as dam levels plummeted to 31% and rationing extended to 108 hours. 

Bulawayo, the country’s second largest city continues to gradually increase water cuts amid decline in reservoir levels.

“We regret to inform our customers, suppliers and stakeholders that we have had limited water supplies to our factory for the last seven days and the situation has not improved,” URL said in a statement today.

“As a result, we have had to temporarily suspend our factory operations as we await the situation to normalize.”

The country has been carrying out a bulk water supply trucking system in its two largest cities as a way to mitigate acute water shortages which have been worsened by a severe drought that has reduced water levels in several of the country’s largest dams.

URL added that it will continue to engage BCC with regards returning the situation to normality. “We are aware this is happening as we prepare for the festive season stocking programs and promotions.”

The URL is one of the largest Bulawayo-based cooking oil manufacturers. At its inception in 1935, the company was called United Chemical and Soap and was only into soap, cooking oil and cosmetics manufacturing.


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