The Sunday News
Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
THE Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) has availed US$300 000 to Gweru City Council for the drilling of 20 commercial boreholes to ease the water crisis that is bedevilling the city.
This comes amid reports that the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) will soon decommission the city’s main water source Gwenhoro which is now at 18 percent capacity which can sustain the Midlands capital for not more than a month.
In an interview, Gweru Mayor, Councillor Josiah Makombe said work on the commercial borehole project, has already started and will go a long way in addressing water challenges.
“We got US$300 000 from IDBZ for the commercial boreholes project. We want to sink 20 boreholes with submersible pumps that will be using electricity.
“We will then treat the water and channel it into the existing main water pipes that supply water and people will get tap water. Work on the project is underway.
“We have done the sighting and we have contractors who will be drilling the boreholes.
“The water will be put into our reservoirs and water tanks where it will be treated before it is channelled into the existing water pipes,” he said.
The Government has also availed $400 000 to the local authority to address the water challenges.
Unki Mine has also leased a water pump to the local authority which will be installed at Amapongobge Dam.
The local authority had recently announced that it had no funds to purchase water pumps for the alternative water sources.
Gweru has been bedevilled by water woes since the beginning of the year.
The dire situation has been worsened by the local authority’s failure to secure funds to purchase new water pumps that could be installed at Amapongobge Dam which is an alternative water source and is adjacent to Gwenhoro Dam.
In May, the local authority announced that the remaining water at Gwenhoro Dam could only sustain the city for only two months.
If the local authority does not address the water challenges, the city could face serious water woes and go for months without tap water.
Council has since introduced water rationing after the pumping capacity dropped to 20 mega litres a day against the city’s demand of 60 mega litres.
This has seen high lying areas such as Ascot going for weeks without water.
The mayor said the city’s alternative water source Amapongobge required five pumps for it to be able to meet the city’s daily demand.
“Water levels at Gwenhoro are now at 18 percent. This is a disaster.
“At the moment we have introduced water rationing because we are only able to pump 20 mega litres a day.
“There is need for council to act fast and address this problem,” he said.