BY TANAKA MREWA
The Bulawayo City Council is working on a water and sewerage project, which seeks to improve water and sanitation services, an official has said.
Simela Dube, the city’s director of engineering services, unpacked the project at the just-ended Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSIP) service delivery indaba.
The conference ran under the theme Sustainable solutions in water and sanitation management in Zimbabwe at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre.
Dube said it was vital for the project to succeed because of the amount of invest.
The African Development Bank provided $37 million for the project while the government availed a further $18,2 million.
According to the council, these funds need to be used within three months to avoid a situation where the money is eroded by inflation.
Dube said the project will see the renewal and upgrading of water systems, water treatment works, wastewater treatment works and sewer system.
“We are putting up new pipework and long connections in western areas [move meters from current positions to closer to the gates in various suburbs].
“The city will also replace 14 500 nonfunctional meters in the Criterion and Magwegwe reservoir area,” he said.
“There is a lot of work which needs to be done in Bulawayo.
“For instance, the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle water and sanitation project in Cowdray Park when compared to Gwanda water and sanitation projects is three times the size.
“There are 15 000 housing stands, which need water, sanitation or access to road services. So far we have done 46% of the work.”
Dube urged residents to avoid throwing materials into the sewer system, which he said caused blockages.
“Sewer systems in some areas have blocked because of the waste that people throw in involuntarily. Such utensils as spoons clog the sewer system,” he said.
“Gulley traps must always be covered to prevent waste from going into sewer systems.
“Residents must make sure dirty water they pour into drainage systems does not contain particles that may end up clogging the system.”
Dube said council had been trying to gather contact details of residents to enable the local authority to share information in cases of emergency via mobile phones but people have not been forthcoming.
“Due to access to technology we realised It is effective to just send SMSes when there are water bursts or related faults rather than to print out adverts and distribute them to people,” he said.
Dube said the local authority had been struggling to collect data from some residential areas as there are some property owners whose houses are walled and gated or are guarded by vicious dogs. —CITE