By Letwin Nyambayo
Harare City Council (HCC) needs more than $1 billion to repair old, damaged infrastructure and to build two major dams the city’s mayor has said.
HCC mayor Herbert Gomba said council urgently requires $150 million for all pipe replacement that go to as far as western suburbs, CBD and all other areas.
“We are saying $150 million for pipe replacement because we are talking of a combination of two piping systems; one for sewer and one for water.
“We are also looking for around $200 million for rehabilitation of our sewer treatment plants for us to stop water discharges into our water sources.
“Beyond that we also need around $1 billion for the construction of Kunzvi and Musami dams which are necessary for us to have a sustainable way of supplying water to our residents,” he said.
The mayor said Kunzvi and Musami dams are from an unpolluted source unlike Chivero which is downstream and has all polluted water sources flowing into it.
Speaking recently at Beatrice Road Infectious Disease Hospital, Local Government minister, July Moyo said the city must repair infrastructure to give permanence in solving the cholera epidemic.
“The epidemic has given us an opportunity to make the long term plan immediate.
“Looking at infrastructure of sewerage, water, refuse collection and equipment…we are told that of the pipes that are here in Harare 5000 are rotten.
“So we are saying the whole of Harare and the surrounding area has to be looked at to see how many more pipes need repairing.
“The president has put up an inter-ministerial committee to deal with this and our long term issue is really to look at existing infrastructure and see where it is not working.”
Moyo said detection of burst sewer pipes should not only be through people reporting but through scientific and programmed replacement of infrastructure in all urban areas.
“The president is concerned about reports that the city of Harare now relies on people telling them that there is a water pipe or sewer burst and have no machinery that can detect whether this has happened, independent of the reportage.
“The president has said if any local authority takes time before they procure machines that detect sewer bursts I should tell him,” he said.
A report released by Amnesty International on September 12 indicates that the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe highlights failure to invest in infrastructure.
“Given what happened in 2008 the government should have been better prepared. But no lessons were learnt from the 2008 epidemic and the outbreak and deaths we are seeing now is symptomatic of a still broken-down sanitation infrastructure and poor sewer management,” the report claimed.
In 2008, the cholera outbreak which claimed thousands of lives was a result of the failure to manage and repair old dilapidated infrastructure which dates back to as far as 1962, a decade later, the outbreak is a result of the same failure. DailyNews