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Mnangagwa averts potential water crisis in Gweru

by Staff reporter
23 Nov 2019 at 07:07hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa ordered the urgent release of $651 000 for the purchase of four new low-lift raw water pumps for Amapongobwe Dam thereby averting a potential water crisis in Gweru.

Officially commissioning the pumps, which have been successfully installed at Amapongobwe Dam, yesterday — the Minister of Local Government and Public Works July Moyo said because of President Mnangagwa's gesture — there is now guaranteed water supply to the City of Gweru.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Permanent Secretary in his Ministry Mr George Magosvongwe at the dam yesterday, Minister Moyo said the commissioning of the four pumps was triggered by a looming water shortage in the city as a result of the drought that has ravaged the country.

"Water levels were dwindling to low levels in Gwenhoro Dam which for decades has been the source of water for Gweru. President Mnangagwa approved the release of a total of $651 000 to procure the required four low-lift raw water pumps for installation at Amapongobwe Dam. Subsequently, Treasury also released an additional $7 million towards the acquisition of three high lift pumps meant to enhance conveyance of water from the treatment plant to the distribution tanks in Gweru," he said.

Minister Moyo said he was enthused to note that the entire process to procure and install the low-lift pumps was not only concluded in record time but has also seen water supply to the residents of Gweru rising from around 23 to 40 mega litres.

"While we celebrate this milestone achievement, it is vital to note that the water currently being pumped to the city of Gweru still falls short of the estimated demand that stands at 80 megalitres per day. It therefore follows that there is still need for huge investment into enhancing and modernising water pumping and distribution infrastructure in the city," he said.

Minister Moyo said residents and industry must also pay rates to enable council to undertake some of its capital projects and improve service delivery.

"Residents should pay rates, council must know the assets they have at their disposal, the natural resources so that they know what they have to come up with a town Gross Domestic Product of the city to base on plans and budget. The people who use council infrastructure must pay for the services so that their own lives improve in their own hands. We don't expect local authorities to depend on donors," he said.

The Minister of State for Provincial Affairs Larry Mavima said when water levels reached alarming levels the Government came in to assist in setting up a team of experts to work on the possible quick solutions to the problem.

"We were facing a potential water disaster in Gweru and now we have this great project that has alleviated water challenges in city. More work needs to be done in purchasing four high lift pumps so that all the residents get the water they desperately need," he said.

Gweru Mayor Councillor Josiah Makombe said: "The challenge we had is almost coming to an end as we are pumping water from Amapongobwe.  "The year 2018 saw minimum inflows into Gwenhoro Dam and so we moved to Amapongobwe. Due to depressed funds we could not purchase pumps for raw water. We thank the Ministry which accelerated the issue in Parliament so that our matter was given attention and funds were released.

"Today we are witnessing the commissioning of the raw water pumps at Amapongobwe. We appeal for more funding to purchase three more pumps. We want to be the city of choice by 2030 in line with national vision of being a middle-income economy by 2030."

Source - chronicle