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