Kwekwe requires US$3,7m for water plant upgrade

Source: Kwekwe requires US$3,7m for water plant upgrade | The Herald

Michael Magoronga

Midlands Correspondent

KWEKWE City Council requires US$3,7 million to rehabilitate its Dutchman’s Pool Water Treatment Plant if it is to continue supplying water to residents and companies in the mining town.

The country’s second largest water treatment plant after Morton Jaffray in Harare does not only supply water for domestic and commercial use in Kwekwe, but also feeds neighbouring Redcliff.

A tour of the plant by officials from Kwekwe and Redcliff municipalities, as well as stakeholders, last week revealed that out of nine pumps to efficiently supply water, only four were operational.

Apart from the broken down pumps, the plant was in need of inlet and desludge valves, filter beds, multi-stage pump, baffle dishes and the rehabilitation of a recycling plant to minimise non-revenue water.

The two local authorities and stakeholders proposed coming up with a taskforce that would spearhead resource mobilisation and ensure that the plant was rehabilitated in time.

Acting Kwekwe town clerk, Dr Lucia Mnkandla, said the idea of inviting stakeholders to the familiarisation tour came after the local authority realised that it could not go it alone.

Kwekwe City was now struggling to satisfy its needs and those of Redcliff because of an increase in population over the years.

The only way to end the water woes was to upgrade the Kwekwe City water works and improve on the plumbing capacity.

“This is the second largest water treatment plant in the country and we have to ensure that it is working,” said Dr Mnkandla.

“As Kwekwe, we saw the need to invite our Redcliff colleagues, as well as other stakeholders so that we put heads together because the demise of the plant means there is no business in the towns. Water is a critical component in the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, hence the urgent response to the needs of the plant.”

Kwekwe City director of works, Engineer John Mhike said: “Out of the four functional pumps, the one which pumps 644mm is the most critical and if anything happens to it we will never be able to supply water to our residents. The other three do not have enough pressure to ensure that the whole city has water.”

Eng Mhike said one of the low lift pumps had been purchased from abroad, but the global pandemic had hampered its transportation to the country.

Apart from the Covid-19 induced dwindled cash inflows to Kwekwe council, the local authority is owed a lot of money by companies.

Redcliff Municipality owes $16,8 million, Ziscosteel $16,6 million and Lancashire Steel $4,1 million.