BY PATRICIA SIBANDA
GOVERNMENT has allocated US$34 million and ZWL$18 million to the City of Bulawayo to improve service delivery.
This was revealed by Bulawayo Metropolitan Affairs minister Judith Ncube while addressing delegates during the WASHEN conference hosted by the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in conjunction with the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) on Friday.The conference was held at the ZITF grounds in Bulawayo.
Ncube said Bulawayo was facing inadequate supply of both water and electricity, hence there was need for each and every citizen to tackle these challenges using the money provided by government.
“US$34 million was availed to Bulawayo and another $18 million was also availed by the government to help in the improvement of the services, hence there is need to alleviate the dilemma that we are facing as the citizens of Zimbabwe,” said Ncube.
Council is currently running a water and sewerage services improvement project which seeks to upgrade the city’s water and sewer system. The project is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and its completion is expected to be done by December 2020 with the aim to increase awareness on water conservation, anti- littering, anti- vandalism, payment of bills on time and hygiene awareness.
Speaking during the same conference, council water engineer Skhumbuzo Ncube said there was need for citizens to be responsible and to always inform the council about any faults in water and sewerage systems.
“Please, when we go around in areas, we plead with the residents to give us all the information so that we are able to enhance the services between the council and its stakeholders. We do not use the information only to disconnect water meters, but for improvement purposes,” said Ncube.
Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association representative, Ben Moyo said residents should play a pivotal role in ensuring sustainable water and sanitation management in Zimbabwe.
“As Zimbabwean citizens we need not to discard any stainless steel cutlery in the sewer system to avoid blockages in the systems. Residents in areas such Cowdray Park are advised to make use of blair toilets in order to improve sanitation,” said Moyo.
National University of Science and Technology official, Eugine Makaya said it was important for residents to be responsible whistleblowers who report any water and sewer pipe bursts.
“We should be agents of information dissemination. Therefore, there is need for us to give out the correct information to local authorities as stakeholders,” said Makaya.
Makaya also said there was need for local authorities to adopt smart technology because without such they would not be able to proffer the right solutions.
“Sometime back meter readings were done manually which is important because there is employment creation, but now there is need for technology. This will help us to take water to far places,” Makaya added.