Water rationing in Bulawayo extended to 120 hours as El Niño hits |


Zimbabwe’s second-largest city extended rationing water by 48 hours after dam levels plunged because of lack of rainfall, which authorities blamed on the El Niño weather pattern.

Bulawayo will extend rationing to 120 hours, the city administration said in a statement.

Over a 30-year period to 2020, rainfall in Zimbabwe has averaged 145.5 millimeters (5.7283 inches) in December, according to the World Bank, making it the wettest month after January.

A key reservoir has just 4% of the desired level, according to the city administration.

The current El Niño, which causes a rise in temperature, is likely to be “historically strong” and among the top five most intense ones since 1950, according to the US Climate Prediction Center.

Bulawayo has an estimated population of 650,000, according to spokeswoman Nesisa Mpofu. The city decommissioned its Umzingwane dam on Nov. 19 after water levels plunged.

El Niño plays havoc on weather around the world, fueling storms across the southern US as well as drought and wildfires in Australia.

It has been blamed for bad coffee harvests in Vietnam and cocoa woes in Africa.

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