$37 million boost for Bulawayo water, sewer system rehabilitation
BULAWAYO City Council yesterday received a $37 million boost from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to improve the local authority’s water and sewerage services.
Work has already started on the four year project and the AfDB has released part of the funds.
Speaking at the official launch of the project yesterday, Bulawayo mayor Councillor Martin Moyo said the project will result in improved household access to municipal water and reduced environmental pollution from raw sewage.
He said the project will result in the upgrading of water infrastructure at Criterion and Magwegwe Reservoirs as well as waste water infrastructure in the catchment area.
“It’s my hope that at the end of this project, we would have achieved the key factors which also include the decrease in non-revenue water, reduction in frequent burst pipes, reduction of environmental pollution and reduction of the sewer bursts,” he said.
The mayor said Bulawayo was affected by many years of under-investment in maintaining its water and sewage infrastructure due to economic challenges.
“The city is also further affected by limited water resources as a result of drought and despite these factors; the revenue collected by the local authority is not 100 percent as the rest is lost through leaks and burst pipes.
“The project will assist the city in ensuring that we mitigate the challenges of water and revenue lost through leaks as well and ensure that the sewage generated in the city is treated at the water treatment works,” said Clr Moyo.
He said the project is in line with Zim-Asset as it would impact on social services and the lives of the people.
The Minister of State for Bulawayo Provincial Affairs, Cde Eunice Nomthandazo Moyo said the funds being poured into the project amount to one of the biggest grants that have been channelled towards water and sanitation infrastructure in Zimbabwe.
In a speech read on her behalf by her personal assistant, Mrs Sichelesile Ncube, Minister Moyo said the shortage of capital and long term investment opportunities in urban areas has been a major challenge and Bulawayo was not an exception.
“The city of Bulawayo in its water and waste master plan, has presented a need of $1 billion to rehabilitate its infrastructure and overhaul it to operational capacity.
“It’s my hope that this contribution of $37 million will go a long way towards the achievement of goals and objectives of the project,” she said.
“The project will benefit directly 471 798 people of which 75 000 people who didn’t have access to these basic services would benefit, while the whole city benefits from rehabilitated public latrines, hygiene education and improved maintenance capacity.”
The project’s task manager from the AfDB, Mr Eskendir Demissie said the project would improve the lives of residents and contribute towards the revival of the local economy.
“The bank’s policy requires all of us to observe the highest standard of ethics during the execution of the project,” he said.
“The sustainability of the service largely depends on our ability to employ the best management models within our governance context.
“This is a heavy responsibility entrusted to BCC in bringing this project to fruition. This is a clear manifestation of trust by the central government on Bulawayo’s capability and the bank’s confidence in the system in place.” — @winnie_masara.
Byo mayor, Clr Martin Moyo