By Edward Mukaro
RESIDENTS of Bulawayo Metropolitan Province are only a few months away from benefiting from the African development Bank’s (AFDB) initiated $33 million Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) nears completion.
Zimbabwe’s second city is faced with incessant water supply changes a situation that has been worsened by the persistent droughts that have left most water bodies at their lowest water levels for a long time.
AFDB country manager Damoni Kitabire said his organisation is working flat out to provide fresh clean water for residents, while also reversing the effects of poor sanitation, through the BWSSIP set to be completed in the last quarter of 2020.
“The city also suffers from water insecurity due to frequent droughts.
“We are counting down months to completion. With the full suite of new services, we seek to reverse the devastating effects that poor sanitation and water supply has brought to this area.
“We look forward to witnessing the positive impacts that these changes will bring and building the resilience of the society,” said Mr. Katibire.
Director Engineering Services for Bulawayo City Council Engineer Simela Dube said the project, upon completion, would bring convenience to previously marginalized settlements in the Bulawayo District.
“Before the project, water was distributed on a ration basis, forcing marginal communities in Cowdry Park, an informal settlement in Bulawayo District to walk for over a kilometer to get water,” he said.
Since its inception (BWSSIP) in 2015, a total of four pumps have been replaced and 141kilometers of network in Magwegwe and Criterion reservoir areas have been rehabilitated.
Similarly, water mains have been upgraded, renewed and in some cases, replaced. Environmental improvements include rehabilitating two wastewater treatment facilities and replacing 18km of sewer lines.
The Government of Zimbabwe via the Bulawayo City Council is administering BWSSIP.
By Edward Mukaro