BCC launches $37m wa­ter, sewer project

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Opinion/worldwide - Yoliswa Dube

The Bu­l­awayo Wa­ter and Sew­er­age Ser­vices Im­prove­ment Project (BWSSIP) which was launched yes­ter­day and bankrolled by the African Devel­op­ment Bank (AfDB) is set to im­prove mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter sup­ply and san­i­ta­tion ser­vices con­tribut­ing to the health and so­cial well-be­ing of the pop­u­la­tion of the city. The $37 mil­lion project is ex­pected to ad­vance mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter sup­ply and sew­er­age ser­vices through the rehabilitation and en­hance­ment of the wa­ter sup­ply sys­tem, strength­en­ing in­sti­tu­tional as­pects, en­hanc­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery ef­fi­ciency and im­prov­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal san­i­ta­tion.

The project en­tails im­prov­ing pump­ing and en­hanc­ing op­er­a­tional ef­fi­ciency of Cri­te­rion Treat­ment Works.

The rehabilitation of sew­er­age in­fra­struc­ture is ex­pected to re­duce pol­lu­tion from the sewer sys­tem.

Min­is­ter of State for Bu­l­awayo Prov­ince Eu­nice Nomthandazo Moyo said sus­tain­able wa­ter and sew­er­age in­fra­struc­ture are key in en­sur­ing eco­nomic growth.

She said wa­ter and sew­er­age in­fra­struc­ture de­ple­tion had be­come a ma­jor chal­lenge in ur­ban ar­eas lead­ing to pol­lu­tion of wa­ter bod­ies and con­tam­i­nated drink­ing wa­ter.

“There are a lot of chal­lenges associated with sewer bursts and un­treated sewer be­ing de­posited into wa­ter bod­ies on a daily ba­sis. Ad­dress­ing this prob­lem is a key com­po­nent in en­sur­ing that we have in­dus­try that is vi­able and able to grow,” said Min­is­ter Moyo.

She said dam­age to the en­vi­ron­ment as a re­sult of poor sewer sys­tems could be cat­a­strophic.

“Clean­ing up the en­vi­ron­ment is a costly ex­er­cise as spilled tox­ins are dif­fi­cult to clean up. The gov­ern­ment is cog­nisant of the fact that we need to make con­certed ef­forts to ad­dress ef­forts such as these to pro­tect our en­vi­ron­ment as well as build and ex­e­cute the cities’ devel­op­ment agenda,” said Min­is­ter Moyo.

The BWSSIP is ex­pected to pro­vide safe wa­ter and en­sure safe dis­posal of sewage, im­prove the ef­fi­ciency of wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion phys­i­cal as­sets and en­hance op­er­a­tional and fi­nan­cial ef­fi­ciency of ser­vice de­liv­ery.

AfDB project task man­ager Mr Esk­endir De­missie said the funds avail­able for BWSSIP are meant to con­tinue to im­prove wa­ter and san­i­ta­tion in Bu­l­awayo as well as aug­ment ef­forts by the BCC and other stake­hold­ers.

“Ow­ing to the chal­lenges of wa­ter in­se­cu­rity, en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns and great need for im­prov­ing ser­vices, the Gov­ern­ment of Zim­babwe re­quested the bank to in­clude the project in its bud­get. The project is aimed at im­prov­ing mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter sup­ply and sew­er­age ser­vices con­tribut­ing to the im­prove­ment of the health and so­cial well-be­ing of the pop­u­la­tion of the City of Bu­l­awayo,” said Mr De­missie.

He said high lev­els of trans­parency are essen­tial for sus­tain­able ser­vice pro­vi­sion.

“One such change re­quired is bring­ing more trans­parency in the rev­enue streams, sources, ac­count­ing meth­ods, shar­ing of ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion, plan­ning and bud­get­ing. The sus­tain­abil­ity of the ser­vice largely de­pends on our abil­ity to em­ploy the best man­age­ment mod­els within our gov­er­nance con­text,” said Mr De­missie.

He said the bank re­mains com­mit­ted to ren­der­ing its as­sis­tance in the form of in­vest­ment projects, tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance, eco­nomic sec­tor work and pol­icy di­a­logue for ac­cel­er­at­ing im­ple­men­ta­tion of the coun­try’s devel­op­ment.

The Bu­l­awayo City Coun­cil is the ex­e­cut­ing agency of this project, which en­tails the over­all man­age­ment of the project, co­or­di­na­tion, pro­cure­ment and fi­nan­cial man­age­ment.

Bu­l­awayo mayor Coun­cil­lor Martin Moyo said the mis­sion of the BCC is to pro­vide peo­ple with fo­cused qual­ity ser­vices.

“This project comes at an op­por­tune time when we have been try­ing to raise funds to­wards the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the city’s wa­ter and waste mas­ter plan. The in­jec­tion of the $37 mil­lion will be cru­cial and ben­e­fi­cial in as­sist­ing the coun­cil at­tain the goals set out in the short term and medium term of the mas­ter plan,” said Clr Moyo.

He said the project would as­sist the city in en­sur­ing it mit­i­gates the chal­lenges of wa­ter and rev­enue lost through leaks as well as en­sure that sew­er­age gen­er­ated in the city is treated at the wa­ter treat­ment works.

BCC work­ers re­ha­bil­i­tate the Marvel out­fall sewer

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