Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Forex shortages stall Dangamvura water project

Mutare mayor Councillor Blessing Tandi
Mutare mayor Councillor Blessing Tandi

Speaking at the commissioning of refuse compactor trucks, a staff bus, tractor and four utility vehicles at Civic Centre on Tuesday, Tandi said only a two-kilometre stretch requiring high pressure pipes was left for the work to be completed.

He said the money is sitting in their bank but they are praying the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe allocate them foreign currency to put an end to the water problems.

“The money is there in the account but we are hoping to get foreign currency allocation so that we buy the high pressure pipes that are needed to complete the remaining two kilometres,” Tandi said before imploring minister of State for Manicaland Ellen Gwaradzimba to assist in lobbying for it.

The eastern border city’s over 38 000 residents have been getting water on alternate days with some areas going for close to a week without water.

New suburbs being established by private land developers are being forced to provide borehole water to their members if council is to clear the areas for settlement.

Some areas which were being developed by cooperatives like Gimboki and Federation have been forced to rely on sewage-contaminated water sources like shallow wells and streams in areas that is replete with pit toilets, risking outbreaks of communicable diseases like cholera.

Without the foreign currency allocation, residents are expected to endure water rationing for a long time to come.

Council has previously lost more than $300 000 in a botched deal in which it contracted an organisation that lacked capacity to replace the 15mm pipe with a 45mm to meet the sprawling suburb’s demands.

In most cases residents fail to get water frequently with many even going for days without the precious liquid.

The eastern border city is, however, only failing to distribute water within itself as it draws its supplies more than 90 kilometres away from Pungwe River in Nyanga and Osborne Dam in Mutasa.

As if to mock Dangamvura residents, council recently revealed the city was losing more than half of its treated water due to leakages and dysfunctional meters.

The Pungwe Project was commenced in the mid-1990s during the tenure of Lawrence Mudehwe as executive mayor.

It was completed at the turn of the millennium and was valued at $1 billion, the bulk of which came from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida).

Ironically, even after the water was within the city, it could not on its own distribute the water until again the cholera epidemic triggered donor sympathy which culminated in the completion of the 10 million cubic litre tank with a capacity to supply 60 percent of the city’s over 200 000 residents. DailyNews