Belinda Moyo, Sunday News Reporter
BULAWAYO City Council has received $7 million from the African Development Bank and the Government for the refurbishment of Ncema and Fernhill waterworks in a bid to increase water pumping capacity in the city.
The project is being done under the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) and is expected to commence this month.Council spokesperson Mrs Nesisa Mpofu said the refurbishment will also cut on Zesa bills that council has been incurring.
“The refurbishment of Ncema and Fernhill electro mechanical equipment under Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project will cost $7 million and will go on for 18 months starting from 18 September 2018,” she said.
“The supply and installation of electro-mechanical equipment at pump stations (Ncema and Fernhill) project intends to increase our raw water pumping capacity and also enhance energy efficiency through the use of better motor starting methods.
“The Ncema and Fernhill plants both are billed by Zesa through the Time of Use billing system which has a maximum demand penalty component. If we change the new starting method from the old direct online system to the new type of starters called the Soft starters, we will lower our maximum demand bill and also deliver more water to the city,” said Mrs Mpofu.
In the meantime, the council has implemented emergency temporary water shedding to areas fed directly from Criterion and Magwegwe Reservoir and some surrounding areas so as to manage water distribution from the reservoir.
Council said the fault was caused by theft of copper cables which resulted in the city council struggling to pump enough water for its residents.
However, Mrs Mpofu said the Ncema project is not connected to water shedding which the city is experiencing.
“This project is not related to water shedding. Efforts have been made to ensure that during project implementation there will be limited interruptions to water supply,” she said.