BY SILAS NKALA
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has expressed concern over the recurrent sewer pipe bursts which it blamed on the ageing infrastructure that is also strained by population growth.
Presenting a report on a local development plan on Thursday, BCC’s deputy director of engineering services, Wisdom Siziba said aging sewer infrastructure was causing frequent bursts.
“The study noted that infrastructure was adequate and would accommodate more stands
(3 000). Nonetheless, due to the ageing infrastructure, there were frequencies of sewer bursts bringing some discomfort to residents,” Siziba said.
“The study area was characterised with a lot of change of use applications from residential to office, lodges, guest houses, early education development and day care centres, amongst others.
“There was a considerable worry from residents that these were inadequately maintained. These in most cases were becoming havens for criminal activities or being used as dumping sites.”
Siziba noted that the walk ways and cycle tracks were an integral part of the communities as they were also used for jogging and cycling for physical fitness purposes.
He noted that the residents were also concerned by vehicles speeding in some areas.
Siziba said the area had an excellent road network with arterial, ring, distributor and local access roads.
“All the same, the road conditions were very poor, full of potholes, with road signs and markings being invisible in some areas,” he said.
“Residents noted serious concerns on public transport and prior to the Zimbabwe United Passengers Company arrangement, they were starved of the commuter omnibus system.
“The current setup puts them at a disadvantage again as either there are inadequate buses servicing the routes or some routes are not serviced at all.”
On educational facilities, Siziba said there were high enrolment levels in both primary and secondary schools with a high number of applications for change of use to early childhood development and day care centres.
He noted that trees went for a long time untrimmed, thereby disturbing services like electricity while grass remained uncut for long periods after the rains, disturbing vehicular visibility and also encouraging criminal activities.
Siziba expressed concerns over vandalised and dilapidated street infrastructure such as bus stops, benches and street lights.
“There was also disquiet on vandalism, non-maintenance of street/road lights by both local Authority and property owners. All these were contributing to high criminal activities in the study area,” he said.