Blessings Chidakwa Municipal Correspondent
The overhaul of Harare metropolitan’s water and sewer reticulation systems has commenced in earnest following Government’s injection of $74 million and US$8,8 million towards interventions to improve water access and waste water treatment.
The commencement of the projects comes as Government has also given council full support in ensuring that the signing of US$868 million deals for long-term water and wastewater projects with Chinese firms comes to fruition.
Government released the funding of the projects after Harare City Council recently shut down Morton Jaffray water treatment plant, leaving the entire Harare metropolitan without water, exposing residents to disease outbreaks.
Harare spokesperson Mr Michael Chideme said the local authority had started accessing the Government funds.
“We have started drawing on the funding,” he said. “We are now waiting for delivery of some of the equipment that includes pipes so that actual work on the ground begins. Among the big projects will be the pipe replacement programme.”
Mr Chideme further said council was complementing Government’s efforts through its own resources in replacing broken down wastewater pipes in Kuwadzana.
The council has also been battling sewer blockages and bursts over the years, leading to disease outbreaks.
Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba said senior council officials on Wednesday assessed progress at Morton Jaffray.
“The town clerk was today at Morton Jaffray assessing progress regarding the replacement of clarifiers and filters,” he said. “The first batch of the money is being used for buying equipment for the distribution network, including pipes, clarifiers and sand.”
Of the millions released so far by Government, $20 050 000 is for the replacement of pipes covering 10 kilometres within six months, $10 400 000 repairs of burst pipes (one month), $4 710 000 for installation of 8 000 domestic household meters (four months) and $495 000 for Morton Jaffray clarifiers (two months) and $296 000 for filters (three months).
On waste water collection, Government availed $890 000 for the upgrading of 8 000 sewer mains in Glen View and Budiriro suburbs, $300 000 for repair of Firle sewage works (six months) and $220 000 for repair of Crowborough sewage works (two months).
Zimbabwe Combined Residents’ and Ratepayers’ Association executive president Mr McStephen Nyabvure praised Government for intervening in the Harare fiasco.
“The water issue was actually a thorn in the flesh for our local authorities and Government’s move to chip in is highly commendable,” he said.