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Mnangagwa's govt prioritises boreholes after Gwayi-Shangani dame fake promises

by Staff reporter
04 Jan 2024 at 05:54hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has availed $7 billion and a borehole drilling rig for Bulawayo as part of short to medium-term interventions to address the city's water shortages while pushing the Lake Gwayi-Shangani project, which is expected to start pumping water to the city next year.

The $7 billion fund will be channelled towards repairing broken-down boreholes at the Nyamandlovu Aquifer to ensure the pumping of 16 megalitres of water per day is maintained. Some of the funding will be directed at rehabilitation of pump stations and leaking pipes as the city is losing a lot of treated water.

The completion of the Lake Gwayi-Shangani project will provide a permanent solution to Bulawayo's water problems which over the years have forced council to subject residents to stringent water rationing.

Addressing an inaugural meeting of the 20-member Bulawayo Water Technical Committee at Mhlahlandlela Government Complex yesterday, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister, Dr Anxious Masuka, said Government was committed to addressing Bulawayo's water shortage problem.

He said the Government interventions were part of Vision 2030, which envisages creating an upper middle-income economy.

"Government has availed $6,9 billion and a drilling rig to the city to address the issue of water shortage  and this committee will be working closely with relevant stakeholders," said Minister Masuka.

He said the committee which has a very broad representation and skills depth as well as experience, is expected to accelerate the implementation of interventions to address the problem.

The meeting revealed that the process of tendering for the treatment works project in Cowdray Park has already been completed.

Dr Masuka said the 220 megalitres a day expected from Lake Gwayi-Shangani, will guarantee adequate water for Bulawayo for the next 80 years.

"This is why at this stage we do not envisage going beyond Lake Gwayi-Shangani in terms of water supply for Bulawayo. We would want to stabilise it and then deal with internal issues within Bulawayo, which is ensuring that the non-revenue water is reduced and that the conveyancing of water is reaching areas that we were unable to reach," said Minister Masuka.

In her brief welcome remarks, Bulawayo Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister, Judith Ncube, said Vision 2030 cannot be achieved without reliable water supplies.

The technical water committee is chaired by Dr Engineer Annatoria Chinyama and members are drawn from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development, civil engineers from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), BCC, public health practitioners, Environment Management Authority (EMA) and members of the academia.

The committee was given 100 days to address the city's water challenges.

Minister Masuka said the committee must work flat-out to make sure the city gets the extra 36 megalitres of water to boost supplies.

He however, emphasised that the committee was there to complement, not replace, what the council is doing.

He said the council has a geographic footprint that is limited whereas its water supplies are beyond its geographic footprint hence it became necessary to appoint a committee of this magnitude.

From the Government's perspective, Minister Masuka said there was a need for an urgent intervention to be able to increase the city's water supply from 125 megalitres to 175 megalitres a day.

He  said the Government was eager to stabilise the Nyamandlovu Aquifer supply system from Epping Forest and Rochester so that these can bring a constant supply of 16 megalitres a day. "There is a need to move from short-to medium-term to long-term solution hence the need to accelerate the Lake Gwayi-Shangani construction," said Dr Masuka.

Source - The Chronicle