A council document on the development of the Kunzvi Dam, touted as the panacea to the city’s water woes, shows that the project may only yield fruit in 2015.
The document prepared by Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi last month says in order to expedite the completion of the US$539 million project, it becomes imperative that all remaining phases and construction be executed simultaneously on a turnkey basis, that is, design and construct at the same time.
A look at the document shows that the construction of the dam was three years behind schedule. It says a lot still hangs in the balance, with the city fathers grappling with securing a loan for the project, which they say can be paid back within 25 years.
At least three million dollars is needed before the end of the year for document review, final design and preparation of tender documents. The proposed implementation schedule shows that Harare hopes that construction of the dam will begin early 2012 and stretch to 2014.
It also hopes that existing facilities will be rehabilitated between 2012 and 2015 while construction of proposed water production treatment and transmission mains, including pump stations, will also happen at the same time.
Construction of a proposed main distribution system is expected to be done from 2013 to 2015 while house connections will be done from 2011 throughout the project.
“Harare and its environs require a new water supply source for continued growth and development,” Mahachi states in his paper.“Already, shortage of water is reducing the development in both industry and commerce and in the socio-economic development of the people.
“Housing for all concept cannot be achieved unless water is availed, and with industry operating at less than 50% capacity, the suppressed demand may actually be at least another 50% of current demand.”
Regular water cuts causing disease outbreaks
Regular water cuts in Harare have caused the outbreak of water-borne diseases in the past few years. More than 200 people are being monitored at Beatrice Infectious Diseases Hospital following a typhoid outbreak in the capital at the back of acute water shortages.
Although council authorities had earlier said they were above the situation, Harare city council health director Dr Prosper Chonzi last week admitted it will be difficult to contain the outbreak as many residents relied on water from shallow, unsafe wells and marshlands because they do not have access to piped water.
More than 4 000 people, most of them from Harare, died of cholera in 2009, yet another disease blamed on the collapse of water, sanitation and prevention services in Zimbabwe.
Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said the Kunzvi project will complement the city’s water supply, adding that government has set up a steering committee charged with ensuring that the project takes off the ground.