The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Reporter
THE Government has set aside over $45 million targeted at improving the country’s water and sewer infrastructure, a move which will see 90 percent of all urban dwellers having access to safe drinking water by year 2024.
Among other things the rehabilitation will involve the construction of sewer systems for a number of new residential areas around the country. In projections that were made by Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, Government will avail a total of $45,2 million for various water and sewer reticulation projects around the country which include installing a sewer reticulation system in Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park Hlalani Kuhle suburb.
Cowdray Park Hlalani Kuhle has presented the Bulawayo City Council a headache as the suburb had no sewer or water reticulation system which saw residents in the suburb constructing Blair toilets to avoid open defecation. The local authority insisted that the Blair toilets were illegal but could not demolish them because there was no sewer reticulation to give residents an alternative.
Presenting his 2019 budget proposals, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube revealed that they were setting aside $4,1 million for the construction of a sewer reticulation system for the 3 000 houses in the suburb.
“The service level benchmarking exercise undertakes with support from the World Bank in 32 local authorities, underlined critical interventions needed to restore services in the 32 local authorities, particularly with regard to infrastructure services.
“The 2019 budget will therefore make provision for the rehabilitation of water and sewer infrastructure, amounting to US$45,2 million in 18 local authorities,” said Prof Ncube.
Other local authorities that will receive funding include Harare City Council, $4,1 million for the rehabilitation of clarifiers, outfall sewer and upgrading of collapsed sewer, Gweru City Council, $4 million for the replacement of pumps at three main pump stations and rehabilitation of Cambridgesire Treatment Plant and Norton town council will receive $2,5 million for the rehabilitation of sewer ponds and sewer reticulation system in Mandale.
Beitbridge Municipality will receive, $1,4 million for the rehabilitation of the sewerage reticulation system, Lupane Local Board; $$1,1 million for the upgrading of sewer reticulation system, Chirundu Local Board; $1 million for the construction of a new sewerage reticulation system, Kadoma City Council; $1,8 million for the rehabilitation of the water reticulation and construction of a pumping station while Kwekwe City Council will receive $2,3 million for the upgrading and rehabilitation of the sewer and water reticulation system.
Also included in the list is Marondera Municipality that will receive $2,9 million for the rehabilitation of the water reticulation network, Bindura City Council; $3,8 million for the construction of a water treatment plant and rehabilitation of water reticulation network, Victoria Falls will get $2 million for the rehabilitation of the water and sewer reticulation network and Chiredzi Town Council will also receive $2 million for a complete reticulation upgrade and construction of a reservoir.
Chitungwiza Municipality on the other hand will get $1,5 million for the rehabilitation of sewer infrastructure in Zengeza, Chegutu Municipality; $3,5 million for the rehabilitation of water and sewerage network and construction of new manholes, Chinoyi Municipality; $2,8 million for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the sewerage reticulation system, Epworth Local Board; $2,3 million for the upgrading of water mains, sewer outfall and sewer treatment plant and Redcliff Municipality completes the list of urban authorities, receiving $2 million for the rehabilitation and upgrading of the water and sewer reticulation network.
Two rural district councils have also been identified to get Government support, these being Chirumhanzu that will get $726 000 for sewer ponds rehabilitation and Manyame will get $700 000 for the construction of a sewerage reticulation system.
Meanwhile, Prof Ncube also recently buttressed the need to ensure that all water bodies in the country are fully utilised. These plans are contained in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) launched by Government recently.
“By 2024 all sewer should be treated before being discharged to the environment, while 90 percent of urban dwellers should have access to safe drinking water. City fathers must plan for the growth in urban settlements by providing basic services and affordable housing for urban dwellers.
All ongoing dam projects will be completed and measures put in place to ensure all water bodies are fully utilised. Additional boreholes will be constructed countrywide, through DDF and Zinwa, to ensure that rural households also have access to safe drinking water,” reads the document.
Gwayi-Shangani Dam has also been targeted- with two other dams; Causeway and Marovanyati- targeted to be completed by 2019 with a budget of US$194,2 million set aside for this.
“Support of US$60 million will target execution of works for Chivhu, Semwa, Bindura and Tuli-Manyange dams. Emergency Water Supply and Sanitation Rehabilitation Project under ZimFund, targeting Harare, Ruwa, Redcliff and Chitungwiza is under implementation and expected to be complete in 2018.
“Guruve, Lupane and Zimunya sewer and water upgrading works under ZIMREF are on-going and expected to be completed in 2018 at a cost of US$5,5 million. Through the IDBZ, Government will prioritise the completion of the Victoria Falls Municipality Water and Sanitation Project and the Chiredzi Town Council Water and Waste-Water Augmentation,” reads the document.
Contacted for comment, Bulawayo mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni said the programme would complement other projects they had in place.
“Already we have a project that we are doing in Cowdray Park from a grant we received under the Africa Development Bank so if the central government comes in to support us in these key water and sewer projects it will surely go a long way in ensuring that we fulfil our goal as a city of improving our water and sewer reticulation,” said Clr Mguni.