Masvingo City Council said it needs approximately US$ 96 million to complete the water augmentation project which is set to arrest the perennial water challenges the local authority continues to face.
Speaking during a meeting to reflect on the impact of national public debt on local authorities held by Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) in partnership with the African Forum and Network on Debt Development (AFRODAD) on June 15, 2022, Masvingo Mayor Councilor Collen Maboke said the local authority needs a huge amount of money to complete the project.
“We want to do a water augmentation project at the Bushmead water works, visibility studies have been done and everything is in place but the main problem is that council does not have enough money to finance the project.
“Council is looking for sponsors to help them with money to complete the project but up to now we have not managed to have them, so as a result we will continue having water crises because people are not willing to fund us. Maybe it’s because of the current economic situation we are facing as a country.
“Our water plant is producing at least 28mega liters per day to residents but the demand basing from the visibility study done shows that it needs 60 mega liters per day for the whole of Masvingo city, so it means there is a big gap to be covered. We want to reduplicate the system so that it produces at least 60 mega liters per day.
“However the problem of water leakages is also driving more losses of water that is supposed to be supplied to residents. All in all, we need plus or minus US$96 million to complete the project,” said Cllr Maboke.
He also added that they have managed to do something tangible on the project than the previous years.
“Yes the project has been there for a long time, but it was just a project that was on paper. As of now, we have managed to do something tangible like the financial visibility study,” added Maboke.
The city fathers have been in the process of trying to drive the water augmentation phase 2 over a long time, a development which will see its pumping capacity double to 60 mega liters a day.
Water augmentation is the planned placement of recycled water into a surface water reservoir used as a source of domestic drinking water.
Masvingo has been experiencing perennial water challenges in recent years due to the ballooning population which is way above its pumping capacity.
The city has also witnessed the creation and expansion of suburbs which have come as a burden to the local authority as it struggles to cope with service delivery demands.
Sewer reticulation has also been a headache for the city fathers while the Mucheke Trunk Sewer project still remains ‘on the cards’ for many years now.