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Cletus Mushanawani Mashonaland Central Bureau Chief
TWO dams in Mashonaland Central Province that were allocated money by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in the 2019 National Budget have recorded significant progress.
In an interview in Bindura last week, Zimbabwe National Water Authority’s Mazowe Catchment Area manager, Engineer Colletta Tundu, said they received funding for five dams and work was in progress at two dams — Bindura and Semwa — which are now 20 and 30 percent complete, respectively.
“We received funding from the Treasury for five dams — Bindura, Dande, Silverstone, Mavhuradonha and Semwa,” she said. “Two of them are already under construction. These will help to argument water supplies in the province.
“When completed, the Bindura Dam will go a long way in addressing water challenges in Bindura Town, while Semwa Dam will help improve acute water shortages in Rushinga and Mt Darwin. In Rushinga, one dam which is heavily silted is supplying water to Rushinga Centre, Chimhanda and Nyamatikiti High School. The completion of Semwa Dam will address the water crisis there as the Chesa Weir Dam is also heavily silted.”
Eng Tundu’s comments come at a time when Bindura Municipality is battling to provide water to its growing population.
The local authority, which has a demand of 18 megalitres of water a day, is pumping between eight and 10 megalitres of the precious liquid, leaving some residents only accessing water for less than three hours a day.
The town has 17 additional boreholes and out of the 17, nine are functional.
“Although Bindura Municipality is getting water from Mwenje Dam, the water is heavily polluted by panning activities along Mazowe River,” she said. “This has resulted in the council being saddled with a high water treatment bill.
“The cost of procuring water treatment chemicals has increased by 500 percent and this is a major challenge and the completion of Bindura Dam will go a long way in addressing some of these challenges as it is located near the town.”
Eng Tundu said out of the 31 water stations under Zinwa in Mashonaland Central, 29 of them were fully functioning.
She bemoaned the current load-shedding programme, which has caused erratic water supplies in all areas under the water authority.
“We are having about five hours of electricity supply per day and this has affected our pumping capacity,” she said. “Power is usually restored at night and our teams are now working at night to pump the water.
“We are engaging Zesa at national level for the power utility to come up with dedicated lines for us to enable to adequately provide water to our consumers across the country,” she said.
Eng Tundu said they were also working at replacing the 7km water pipeline that supplies water from Mupfurudzi River to the college.
“The current pipeline needs replacement,” she said. “Only 30 percent of the water that we pump from Mupfurudzi River reaches the college, as most of it is lost through leakages on the pipeline. We have submitted a request for funding from the Treasury and we hope we will get something in the 2020 National Budget.
“This also applies to Manhenga, where we want to draw water from Masembura Dam. Manhenga is currently being serviced by boreholes and it is experiencing erratic supplies.”