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11,4 megalitre Beitbridge reservoir complete

by Staff reporter
18 Jul 2023 at 06:19hrs | Views
THE massive 11,4-megalitre reservoir, which is part of the US$300 million Beitbridge Border Post modernisation project, is now complete and expected to boost the border town's water supply and improve hygiene and sanitation.

The new reservoir with a floating roof was constructed on the summit of Mawale Hills, east of Beitbridge, and the contractor is now busy with necessary ancillary works that will see it being connected to the town's water reticulation facilities.

Beitbridge town which draws its water from the Limpopo River requires an average of 15 000 mega litres of water per day and water woes have dogged the town in the last three decades.

For years, Beitbridge has been facing perennial water shortages resulting in the outbreak of waterborne diseases such as cholera.

Residents in some suburbs in Beitbridge rely on water contaminated with human waste for drinking and health authorities have resolved to address the issue by transporting clean water in bowsers to the affected communities.

Zimbabwe has been hit by a serious cholera outbreak and Beitbridge is among the worst-affected districts in the country.

In 2008, the town was hit by its worst cholera outbreak and 54 deaths were recorded in one week.

The completion of the reservoir will ease the water challenges in Beitbridge. The reservoir will not only supply water to residents in the town but will also supply surrounding communities within 40km radius from the town. These include Lutumba, Dumba, Nuli and Mapayi.

The project is part of the five major out of port works under the border modernisation and upgrade project, which was commissioned by President Mnangagwa last year in August.

Other projects include a fire station, animal plant and quarantine, sewer oxidation dam and 220 housing units for Government workers deployed to the border.

The project, a partnership between Government and ZimBorders Consortium, has transformed the face of the border town and created more than 2 000 jobs for locals in line with the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) and Vision 2030, which seeks to attain an upper middle-income economy.

Beitbridge has an estimated population of 100 000 and also absorbs the strain of 15 000 travellers transiting through the border post daily.
Before the latest development the town's water storage facilities could only carry 10, 4 mega litres.

The town requires at least 18 mega litres of water daily, and the new facility will carry a combined 54 mega litres enough to last for three days.
In addition, it is also projected that in the next 10 years, the town should have storage facilities to carry about 100 mega litres of water.

ZimBorders clerk of works, Engineer Stephen Rupiya said they have since handed the reservoir to Beitbridge Municipality, and recently they completed a test run of the facility.

"To enhance durability, we used the strongest cement and steel which gets stronger as it ages. This is a lifetime investment that will address water problems in this town. In addition, the reservoir is located atop a higher hill enabling it to supply water across the town through gravity should we have some power cuts," he said.

District development coordinator Mrs Sikhangezile Mafu Moyo said the new water infrastructure will improve the water supply situation in Beitbridge.

"We are happy to have additional water management infrastructure in Beitbridge, which also handles thousands of people in transit daily. This is a relief to the Municipality of Beitbridge and we are seeing some of the previous water and sanitation challenges gradually becoming a thing of the past," she said.

"Beitbridge is very prone to disease outbreaks such as cholera and other related diseases that are associated with transit zones. A healthy community contributes meaningfully to the development of the district".

Beitbridge mayor Councillor Munyaradzi Chitsunge said the new development will help unlock the town's potential as an investment destination.

He said once fully operational, households that are not receiving water at the moment will start getting the supplies.

Cllr Chitsunge said the local authority also expects to increase its revenue collection due to increased water supply.

"Generally people associate rates with water so once there is that increase in revenue collection council can now expedite connecting the entire town to the water network. We have over 14 000 properties in our town and out of that only 7 700 are either connected to water or receiving service fully," he said.

District water and sanitation committee chairperson, Mr Tinashe Ngundu said new suburbs and the industrial have over the years not been linked to the town's water reticulation system.

He said following the completion of the new reservoir, the local authority will now have the capacity to feed through to most residential areas.

"This project is really a huge milestone for us as a town because it will result in improved service delivery and also curb the spread of diarrheal diseases," said Mr Ngundu.

A representative for the local Beitbridge Residents Association, Mrs Rumbedzani Ribombo said the community is excited with the latest development which is in tandem with the town's population growth.

"We appreciate the massive infrastructure developments in our town, especially looking at the aspect of improving the water supply infrastructure," she said.

A resident, Mr Raniel Ndou lauded Government for its intervention to address water supply challenges in the border town.

"This is a great intervention considering that even when we have power cuts which are affecting the water treatment plant, residents can still access clean water from the reservoir through gravitation," he said.

Source - The Chronicle