By Yeukai Karengezeka
Government will disburse $9,7 million to Chegutu and Kwekwe city councils for the urgent rehabilitation of their water and sewer systems, an official has said.
In a statement yesterday, the Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube said it had come to their attention that several other local authorities were equally affected with poor sewer and water infrastructure.
“Following Government’s interventions in the City of Harare, it has come to our attention that other local authorities face similar problems with regard to water and sewer provision within their localities.
“Based on the submissions from affected councils, Government will be disbursing ZWL$9,770 million from the Inter-Government Fiscal Transfers allocation towards Chegutu and Kwekwe City Councils”.
Kwekwe City Council will get $5,8 million which be used for the procurement and installation of an induction electric motor and a pump set as well as the procurement of gate valves for the rehabilitation of the rising mains at Dutchman’s Pool Water Treatment Plant.
The money includes the completion of Mbizo 3 trunk line sewer upgrade project and the procurement of new compressor and repair of diaphragm to the resuscitation of the bio-digester plant.
Chegutu City Council it will receive $3,970 million purely for sewer reticulation as the system is encountering inadequate pumping capacity.
Minister Ncube said failure by councils to invest in its infrastructure and to collect revenue has led councils counting losses and to remain in debt, especially for water chemicals.
“Lack of investments by councils towards maintenance and rehabilitation of infrastructure assets has resulted in high water losses along the distribution networks with some local authorities having water losses above 60 percent.
“Additionally, most councils were failing to collect billed amounts from residents, and hence, have accumulated huge bills for water treatment chemicals which has resulted in suppliers suspending services,” said Minister Muthuli.
He also said waste disposal was a huge challenge for most local authorities and if not corrected, it may cause re-emergence of waterborne diseases such as cholera and typhoid.
Minister Ncube has called on all stakeholders to harness their energies and resources in order to contribute towards the recovery of critical infrastructure assets within local authorities as Government will continue to monitor the situation and intervene when necessary.
The treasury recently rescued Harare City Council by releasing $37,4 million for water infrastructure.
It was followed up by another $42 million that was released to enable the local authority to procure water treatment chemicals as part of interim measures to deal with the capital’s water woes.