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Mnangagwa to solve Bulawayo water crisis

by Staff Reporter
23 Aug 2020 at 08:46hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has reaffirmed his administration's commitment to solve water problems bedeviling Bulawayo, further directing that a three-phased budget be immediately presented to his office for approval.

The city is going through one of its worst water problems in recent years. Residents in most suburbs in the city are receiving tap water only when it is available after the city council announced that it was now failing to provide water at least once per week as it was doing in recent months.

Last month, Treasury availed $205 million as part of efforts to improve water supplies in the city but the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) said it will start rolling out the cash injection by end of the month as it mobilises engineers to embark on the works to improve water supplies.

Yesterday, President Mnangagwa met City Mayor, Councillor Solomon Mguni, Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube and the Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Simela Dube at State House in Bulawayo where he was briefed on the water situation and possible solutions.
In a briefing after the meeting, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana said the President directed that the key stakeholders in water delivery should immediately come up with a detailed proposal to tackle the water crisis in the city.

"This meeting noted that though the issue of water delivery in Bulawayo and its attendant challenges are well known to successive elected city council officials and representatives, there has not been a comprehensive plan to address it effectively.

"To that end he directed that the stakeholders to this issue, who include Bulawayo City Council, Minister of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority come with a detailed and comprehensive proposal to solve the water challenges," said Mr Mangwana.

He said the proposal should have a three phased budget plan which the President will look at so that the projects are commenced as a matter of urgency.

"This proposal should outline the major challenges and the proposed solutions thereof, in a format depicting the respective activities, the cost and the overall budget in three phases and this should be brought to His Excellency's attention as soon as possible in the interest of bringing water to this great city," said Mr Mangwana.

In an interview after the meeting, the Town Clerk Mr Dube paid gratitude to the President saying they came out of the meeting assured of Government's support in resolving the water crisis.

"Initially we were not part of this meeting but we were invited through the Matabeleland Collective who felt we should take advantage of President Mnangagwa's presence in the city to highlight the water challenges.

"What we noted is that the President is fully aware of the situation in the city but he now has a greater appreciation of the situation on the ground.

"We will now work on the proposal, and send it to the President so that the budget we require is released as a matter of urgency and we start working on the identified water augmentation projects," said the Town Clerk.

From the $205 million that was availed by Treasury, $130 million will be used to rehabilitate and drill 30 boreholes in Nyamandlovu including the eagerly awaited Epping Forest Project while the rest will be channeled towards improving supplies from Mtshabezi Dam.

The Epping Forest Project is projected to increase daily water supply to the city from about four megalitres per day to 25ML. Upgrading Mtshabezi will avail up to 27ML daily, up from the present 15ML.

Source - SundayNews