BCC launches $37m water, sewer project
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