Source: Councils allocated $72m for water | The Herald September 26, 2019
Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
Government has extended $72,3 million to 16 municipalities as part of measures to address water and sewage challenges threatening expose residents to water-borne diseases.
The development, which comes after the City of Harare was allocated $37,4 million recently, was announced by Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube yesterday.
“Following Government’s recent interventions in the City of Harare, it has come to our attention that other local authorities face similar problems with regard to water and sewer provision within their localities,” said Prof Ncube.
“Lack of investments by councils towards maintenance and rehabilitation of infrastructure assets has resulted in high water losses along the distribution networks with some local authorities such as Harare, Chitungwiza and Mutare having water losses above 60 percent.
“Additionally, most councils are failing to collect billed amounts from residents, and hence, have accumulated huge bills for water treatment chemicals which has resulted in suppliers suspending services.”
Prof Ncube said waste disposal also remains a “huge challenge” for most local authorities because of the proliferation of illegal solid waste dumps in most locations.
He said if the situation was left unchecked, there is a real threat of the “re-emergence of water borne diseases such as cholera and typhoid, which caused untold suffering for our people”.
“Based on the submissions from affected councils, Government will be disbursing $72,3 million from the Inter-Governmental Fiscal Transfers allocation towards identified interventions by local authorities . . .”
Bulawayo has been allocated $18 288 000 for water production and sewer.
The city, which prides itself in having the cleanest water in the country, will use $14,4 million for the rehabilitation of 77 boreholes and drilling equipment for additional boreholes at Nyamandhlovu aquifer, construction of a pump house, pipeline and reservoir.
It will also use $288 000 for the replacement of pressure reducing valves while $3,6 million is designated for sewer rehabilitation of collapsed outfall sewer for Aisleby Farm.
Arguably the most chaotically and corruptly run municipality, Chitungwiza, has been allocated $6 375 000 for drilling and equipping 25 boreholes.
Bindura municipality is getting $5 575 800; Gweru ($7 million); Norton ($450 000); chinhoyi ($4,8 million); Shurugwi ($3 551 800); Epworth ($3 834 000); Kadoma ($2,7 million); Marondera (6,6 million); Rusape ($612 000); Ruwa ($248 000); Chipinge ($694 900); Mvurwi ($1 462 500); plumtree ($1 830 000); and Mutare ($8 925 000).
Prof Ncube said; “It should be noted that the path to recovery of critical infrastructure assets within local authorities will take time, resources and effort by all parties.
“I therefore call upon all concerned stakeholders to harness their energies and contribute towards this important effort. Government will continue to monitor the situation and intervene where necessary.”
Most MDC-Alliance run councils have been accused of serious corruption as they focus on fattening their pockets without paying attention to service delivery.