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Zimbabwe city residents asked to flush toilets in sync

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second-largest city, has asked residents to flush their toilets in sync at 7:30 p.m., an attempt to unblock sewers after water shortages.
Zimbabwe toilets 20120923Enlarge
Participants from various sanitation and hygiene concerns address a press conference while sitting on toilets in front of Berlin's central railway station on November 19, 2008, on the occasion of World Toilet Day. The UN has established that some 38 percent of the world's population are living without adequate sanitation, and has called on governments to reduce that number by half by 2015. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

The city of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest, wants residents to synchronize their toilet flushing. 

The unusual request is a result of recent water shortages in this city of one million people. Flushing toilets in sync will help unblock sewers, Bulawayo authorities say.

And so residents have been asked to flush their toilets simultaneously at 7:30 p.m., every three days, according to

The Associated Press said "synchronized flushing" is needed to clear waste that has accumulated in sanitary facilities after water outages.

While it might seem draconian, the alternative to mass flushing is even less appealing. said:

There is not enough water in the reticulation system and waste is not moving for days. The build-up is causing sewer pipes to burst all over the city, say council officials.


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