The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Senior Municipal Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa will on Thursday commission the Epping Forest boreholes in Nyamandlovu and officiate at the ground breaking ceremony of the Gwayi-Shangani pipeline, as the Government delivers on its promise to solve the perennial water challenges in Bulawayo.
Zimbabwe National Water Authority has completed the drilling and equipping of 10 boreholes, at Epping Forest in Nyamandlovu. The project was identified as one of the short-term solutions to the perennial water challenges in Bulawayo with an additional 10 megalitres per day being delivered to the city’s water supplies.
In August last year, President Mnangagwa reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to solve water problems bedevilling Bulawayo, further directing that a three-phased budget be immediately presented to his office for approval. Six months down the line, the President is set to deliver on his promise when he commissions the project on Thursday. He will also officiate at the ground breaking ceremony for the Gwayi-Shangani pipeline, another of the major solutions to the water crisis in the city.
On the Gwayi-Shangani pipeline, last week Government floated a tender for the survey works for the 260-kilometre water pipeline route from Gwayi-Shangani Dam to Bulawayo. This was after treasury allocated $4,5 billion towards the project which is expected to be completed before the end of next year.
Construction works done at the dam site so far are at 39 percent and Government is already moving towards the second phase of the project which is the construction of the pipeline from the dam to Bulawayo and pump stations along the pipeline.
Commenting on these developments, Bulawayo Metropolitan Minister of Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Cde Judith Ncube said the project showed that it was possible to resolve the water crisis in the city, if stakeholders work together. She commended President Mnangagwa for his visionary leadership as exhibited by his hands-on approach to ensure that residents in the country’s second largest city get a reliable supply of water.
“Looking at the situation we are coming from this project will go a long way in easing the water challenges we have as a city. It shows that we are headed in the right direction with the President there to ensure that soon these perennial challenges are a thing of the past.
“Further, the fruition of this Epping Forest borehole project shows the importance of working as a team. When one stakeholder has a challenge, it is key for all to come together, work as a team in solving that challenge, which subsequently means perfect service delivery levels for the residents,” said Minister Ncube.
Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni also paid gratitude to President Mnangagwa’s commitment to solving the water crisis in the city, noting that this showed that the dream of ending the water crisis in the city was fast becoming reality.
“It’s a welcome development to the city of Bulawayo and its surrounding environs. Government agencies should put their hands on deck to solve the perennial water problem that this city and region is facing. Equally significant is that the Head of State is hands-on regarding ending this endemic water crisis and we applaud him for taking a keen interest in ensuring that the water projects are completed.
“We call upon development partners and individuals to complement Government and the city’s efforts in investing in future water projects so that Bulawayo and the region can finally be water sufficient and can sustain the economic growth trajectory envisaged by the vision 2030,” said Clr Mguni.
Last year, Treasury availed $205 million towards resolving the water situation in Bulawayo where $130 million was used to rehabilitate and drill 30 boreholes in Nyamandlovu including the Epping Forest Project while the rest was channelled towards improving supplies from Mtshabezi Dam.