ZimFund helps im­prove plight of Hwange res­i­dents

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - ADVERTORIAL -

MR MICHAEL Ndlovu has been a res­i­dent of Hwange’s In­gag­ula High Den­sity Sub­urb since 1983. The sub­urb is lo­cated close to Hwange Power Sta­tion.

“When we moved here more than thirty years ago, there was no smoke or coal dust to worry about. The smoke from the chim­neys at the power sta­tion was clear.

“How­ever, around the year 2000, we started to see a change in the type of smoke from the chim­neys. It was now dark in colour, con­tained dust and small par­ti­cles like ash to the ex­tent that when you put a white gar­ment on the wash­ing line, a few min­utes later, the gar­ment would be soiled”, said Mr Ndlovu in be­tween coughs.

“I used to cough a lot and I know it was re­lated to the in­hala­tion of the ash and coal dust.

“A num­ber of fam­i­lies are af­fected as well and some, es­pe­cially those with chil­dren, have been forced to move from In­gag­ula sub­urb af­ter doc­tors’ rec­om­men­da­tions” said Mr Ndlovu, who is also a Town­ship Su­per­vi­sor in the sub­urb.

World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) de­scribes out­door air pol­lu­tion as a ma­jor en­vi­ron­men­tal health prob­lem es­ti­mated to cause 4,2 mil­lion pre­ma­ture deaths glob­ally.

In chil­dren and adults, both short and long-term ex­po­sure to am­bi­ent air pol­lu­tion can lead to re­duced lung func­tion, res­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tions and ag­gra­vated asthma.

The coun­try’s En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Act of 2005, Sec­tion 4, guar­an­tees ev­ery­one the right to a clean en­vi­ron­ment that is not harm­ful to their health.

In pri­ori­tis­ing in­ter­ven­tion un­der the first phase of Emer­gency Power In­fra­struc­ture Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Project (EPIRP I), ZimFund fi­nanced the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of Ash Plant at Hwange Power Sta­tion to help im­prove the pro­vi­sion of ad­e­quate, af­ford­able and re­li­able power sup­ply in an en­vi­ron­men­tally sound man­ner.

Be­fore the in­ter­ven­tion, the power sta­tion used to cur­tail gen­er­a­tion to en­able man­ual re­moval of the ash from the boil­ers.

The project com­prised the re­fur­bish­ment, up­grade of the Ash Plant and au­to­ma­tion of the evac­u­a­tion of ash, thereby min­imis­ing hu­man in­ter­ven­tion in the process.

Af­ter project com­ple­tion in 2016, the power sta­tion im­proved its ef­fi­ciency, thus en­abling it to in­crease its power gen­er­a­tion from 3133 GWh to 3850 GWh and also re­duce emis­sion into the at­mos­phere.

The project was done at a to­tal cost of USD10 mil­lion.

“Since 2016, we saw some im­prove­ment in terms of smoke coming out of the chim­neys, it is now lighter and the par­ti­cles re­duced”, ac­knowl­edged Mr Ndlovu.

How­ever, even though ZimFund’s in­ter­ven­tion came to the res­cue of the res­i­dents, a dust-free In­gag­ula is still a dream to the res­i­dents as they are still in­hal­ing some ash and coal dust from the power sta­tion.

This is partly due to coal trucks which sup­ply the power sta­tion, among other fac­tors.

Hwange Power Sta­tion Gen­eral Man­ager Mr Arnold Chivu­rayise noted that the power sta­tion is in need of more fund­ing to com­pletely erad­i­cate the dust prob­lem, which is a health haz­ard to the res­i­dents.

ZimFund is a US$145 mil­lion Wa­ter & San­i­ta­tion and En­ergy pro­gramme, which was es­tab­lished in 2010 af­ter the 2008 cholera out­break.

Its donors are Aus­tralia, Den­mark, Ger­many, Nor­way, Swe­den, Switzer­land and the United King­dom.

ZimFund is man­aged by the African De­vel­op­ment Bank (AfDB) as part of its op­er­a­tions to im­prove liv­ing con­di­tions in Zim­babwe.

The African De­vel­op­ment Bank Group sup­ports other ac­tiv­i­ties in Zim­babwe which in­clude agri­cul­ture, en­ergy, trans­port, pri­vate sec­tor and eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial gov­er­nance.

Dis­claimer: Opin­ions ex­pressed in this ar­ti­cle do not nec­es­sar­ily re­flect those of ZimFund donors, the African De­vel­op­ment Bank, its Board of Di­rec­tors or the coun­tries they rep­re­sent. For feed­back and more in­for­ma­tion kindly con­tact: ZimFund Com­mu­ni­ca­tions — [email protected] , e.nz­a­[email protected] afdb.org & [email protected]

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