German engineers to the rescue 

Source: German engineers to the rescue | The Herald November 12, 2018

German engineers to the rescueCity of Gweru

Midlands Reporter
Gweru City Council was saved from borrowing $10 million for new water infrastructure after engineers from Munich, Germany, managed to identify and open a single water valve that was preventing water from flowing into Kopje reservoir tanks during the past 15 years.

In the end, council through the assistance of German Development Cooperation-GIZ-Ausaid, only spent about $60 000 on flying in the engineers.

GIZ-Ausaid’s head of urban water and sanitation, Mr Stephen Lidsber, said they took an active interest in the issue after the local authority asked for $10 million for new water infrastructure.

“We asked them, they asked what was wrong with the old infrastructure and we decided to fly in a team of German engineers to look at the problem,” he said.

“They spent a good two months looking at ways of getting the water into the city’s reservoir.

“They discovered that it was just a single valve that was malfunctioning. So they opened the valve and they are now able to pump water into the Kopje reservoir tanks.”

Speaking during the tour of the facility, German Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Thorsten Hutter commended the city for deciding to look for the problem instead of opting to put in new infrastructure which cost a lot of money.

He commended the engineers from his country for their workmanship.

“Maintenance is always cheaper than buying new equipment as a   local authority it is important that you invest in maintenance,” said Mr Hutter.

“This partnership shows good cooperation based on mutual respect and I hope it will last for a long time.”

Town Clerk Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza said repairs on the reservoirs, which have a capacity of holding 65 megalitres, had enabled the city to boost the volume of water it was pumping to residents.

“Water is now reaching areas such as Mkoba 15, 18 and 20, which have been facing water challenges,” she said.

GIZ-Ausaid is working with many cities throughout the country to mitigate the challenges faced by local authorities in service delivery.


  • comment-avatar
    mazano rewayi 5 years ago

    OMG!! Our Engineers cannot identify a non-working valve! Let’s be serious guys. This is pathetic. USD60,000 just to be told what valve to open!!!! God save us! Did GIZ look for engineers locally or they just thought as it is German money the Germans must do the work? Whatever the case this is ridiculous and scandalous!

    • comment-avatar

      You have a point but one would think a payment of USD60 000 to whoever and from whatever source must simply be too plausible considering the 10 million our “wise” brothers n sisters were ready to sink. So I would seriously take a case with our own brothers n sisters whom we are told were prepared to sink 10 million. What had informed that decision – was it not a matter of sheer tender-preneurship; and the valve issue was part n parcel of the tender-preneurship scheme. In that case, engaging local engineers (who were going to be compromised) was going to be a futile. Actual they were going to irreversibly damage the facility to ensure the 10 million dollar scheme went through – surely we all know that is what our people are very good at.

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    Nyoni 5 years ago

    Interesting some years back I offered to help solve the water issue for free and no one came back to me. There you go!!

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    And why didn’t you just go and offer your services instead of waiting for an incompetent organisation to come begging you Nyoni?

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      So u really think its possible that you can just walk into someone’s house (let alone oorganisation)and start fixing their leaking pots & plates becoz you believe its the right thing to do? Clearly, things dont work like that Doc. I will also tell u that some years ago I approached my a Primary School I attended many yrs ago – offering to make various donations, including books, sponsoring prizes (ekupa vana vanenge vagona pakupera pegore), etc. I will tell u, the Headmaster rightly told me to wait until he consulted with higher offices. Suffice to say, the issue became so complicated that I simply walked away. May be u Doc would still argue that I should just have went on & forced my donations onto the school anyway. But do things work like that? NO NO NO ….

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    Zambezi 5 years ago

    WOW!!!!! So, for 15yrs, people suffered due to the inability of the city water department not being able to identify a closed valve. Surely, when there was no water entering the reservoir, the city engineers would have started a “process of elimination” campaign and started at one end of the pipeline and worked their way to the other end of the pipeline checking each and every valve.

    But NO!!!!, this would have been to much like hard work, and surely we cannot be expected to work hard.

    I always had a high regard for Zimbabwean employees, but reading this……………….

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    Cynical 5 years ago

    There must be a few very disgruntled Councillors and party big wigs who have just seen $ 10 000 000 escape their pockets.

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    Jonsina 5 years ago

    Germans are the best in the world! I want to thank the guys for such a job. God truly bless you. It makes me remember this old drinking pal. He’d say “Folks, I’m a German tanker don’t try to keep pace with me.” We’d marvel at his long “pulls” punctuated by movement of Adam’s apple up and down. This day in the middle of festival trance he rushes out. We hear “Whoah! Whoah”. The ‘tanker’ was emptying out barrels while holding onto a tree trunk. “It wasn’t embarrassing gentlemen, was it?” he said. I miss that laugh guys. Germany please do more for us.

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    Lodza 5 years ago

    Funny. It does not even need a qualified engineer to open a valve. Any plumber or fitter should have figured it. Maybe it is now time to rewire or wire anew sensors allong our water systems that can monitor valves and water pressure on our networks so that these problems can be picked up instantaneously. A plumber could have fixed this people!