Bulawayo’s master plan in disarray

via Bulawayo’s master plan in disarray – The Standard January 12, 2014  By Musa Dube

BULAWAYO City Council (BCC)’s master plan to refurbish its water and sewage system is in disarray amid revelations that the cash strapped local authority is failing to raise the required US$500 million.

The city and surrounding areas are sitting on a health time bomb because of blocked and burst sewer pipes which have become the order of the day.

Residents are also spending days without water after the council introduced water rationing after the level of water in its supply dams dropped.

In a recent interview, Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo said although the city has a master plan to replace its ageing sewer and water reticulation system, funding constraints have put the programme in disarray.

“The city has a master plan which  requires over US$500 million to develop the whole water infrastructure by removing old  pipes underground and refurbish the sewer processing plant,” said Moyo.

“The master plan is supposed to be implemented over a period of five years but the funding is a challenge. The reason why sewer is flowing in rivers such as Matshemhlophe and Mazai is because our sewer plants are not efficient and also the pipes that take the effluent there are broken so the effluent is leaking before it gets to the destination,” said the mayor.

He added that the city also hasplans to resolve the water crisis by increasing water supply.

“We also need money to argument the amount of water that we have,” he said.

Moyo also said they needed to rehabilitate boreholes in Nyamandlovu and also sink new ones.

The city’s sewer system is failing to cope with the growing population resulting in burst sewer pipes, heaps of uncollected refuse and water problems.

This is raising fears of disease outbreaks and environmental degradation. The situation has been like that for some time, with no solution in sight.

Recently, the Environment Management Agency (EMA) fined the BCC US$10 000 for polluting Umguza River.

In 2008, Zimbabwe battled a cholera outbreak that killed 4 288 people out of 98 592 infections largely as a result of dysfunctional water and sewer systems in urban areas.



  • comment-avatar
    Mixed Race 8 years ago

    We have this crisis but a minister wants to concentrate on trivial things like changing street and road names.This is bad management.

    • comment-avatar

      Mixed race this is what it’s all about Zanu will never let anyone be successful unless it is under their name.This why some of us thought that the opposition should have let Zanu continue by themselves. This would have brought quicker change. Now they can blame it on the councils who they are not funding. MDC missed a trick. They should have made sure that Zanu was handling local government as well.

  • comment-avatar

    Don’t feel to bad this is the same situation in almost all African cities. It’s not age of pipes etc is a people problem. We have the wrong people in charge of our cities is as simple as that.

    • comment-avatar
      Fallenz 8 years ago

      Infrastructure upgrades and repairs must be an ongoing project. Systems can not be put in place, left unattended and unmanaged until they fall apart, then try to rectify the situation. All the while that vast tax revenues and state funds were being diverted to flow into the personal bank accounts of a few, those funds should have been utilized instead to maintain and modernize infrastructure such as roads, electrical, water, sewer, etc. in an ongoing basis. A successful government uses its funds wisely, always planning, always looking forward and continually providing its citizens with operational, updated systems… this government has done none of that.

      Point is, local governments have been handed dysfunctional infrastructures, and to expect them to suddenly address problems caused by years of neglect, and do it after the coffers have been wiped clean over that period of time by high officials, is to expect those current officials to be wizards and perform magic.

      Until society cares about truth, until the people stop relying on partisan rhetoric rather than facts and common sense to understand the problems, nothing will change for Zim.